The Agriculture Division of Statistics Canada forecast area planted to all wheat in Canada for harvest this year at 24,723,800 acres, up 17% from 21,064,800 acres in 2010. The projection was based on an estimate of winter wheat planted last fall and a survey of producers’ spring planting intentions.

Statistics Canada estimated the area planted to winter wheat for harvest this year at 1,690,400 acres, up 17% from 1,439,400 acres a year ago. Statistics Canada said farmers intend to plant 17,983,500 acres to spring wheat other than durum this spring, up 9% from 16,475,400 acres in 2010. The agency indicated farmers intend to plant 5,050,000 acres to durum this spring, up a whopping 60% from 3,150,000 acres last year. Statistics Canada commented, “Over the past decade, durum area has fluctuated considerably, from 6.5 million acres to a low of 3.2 million acres in 2010.”

Statistics Canada said Canadian farmers intend to plant a record 19,224,700 acres to canola, up 14% from the previous record plantings of 16,818,400 acres in 2010. Seeded area in top-producing Saskatchewan was expected to be a record 9.8 million acres, up 26% from 2010. Alberta plantings were forecast at a record 5.9 million acres, up 8%. Statistics Canada indicated if the projection is realized, “this would be the fifth consecutive annual increase in canola area at the national level.”

Soybean planted area was expected to be 3,757,100 acres, up 3% from 2010. Flaxseed planting intentions were 1,210,000 acres, up 31%, from last year.

Intended plantings of oats were 4,056,100 acres, up 39% from 2,912,800 acres in 2010. Canada is the major source of milling quality oats for the United States and other export markets and is coming off a year of poor quality in the 2010 oats crop.

Barley planting intentions were 7,833,300 acres, up 13% from 2010. Corn area was expected to total 3,211,400 acres, up 7% from 2010.

Planting in some areas was yet to begin and was expected to start as much as three weeks later than normal due to cool, wet weather and flooding, according to Canadian trade sources.

Fall rye area was estimated at 225,000 acres, down 2% from 2010, and dry peas area was forecast at 2,745,000 acres, down 20%, from a year ago.

Planting intentions data were gathered from a sample of 12,600 Canadian farmers from March 24-31. “Subsequent to survey data collection, farmers may modify their plans prior to planting time as a result of environmental conditions,” Statistics Canada said.