OTTAWA, QUEBEC — Canadian farmers in 2009 intend to plant more spring wheat, corn, barley, soybeans and flaxseed but less durum, canola and oats than a year ago, Statistics Canada said today in its report of principal field crop planting intentions.

Farmers indicated they intend to plant 25,161,400 acres to all wheat this year, up 151,700 acres, or 0.6%, from 25,009,700 acres last year, Statistics Canada said.

Intended seedings of spring wheat other than durum were 17,328,000 acres, up 964,900 acres, or 6%, from 16,363,100 acres in 2008.

"Wheat acreage should increase in all three Prairie provinces," Statistics Canada said. "Early indications are that acreage will increase the most in Saskatchewan, where farmers anticipate planting an additional 430,000 acres." Area planted to spring wheat also was expected to increase in Manitoba and Alberta, the other two principal Prairie provinces.

Durum plantings were expected to be 5,730,000 acres, down 300,000 acres, or 5%, from 6,030,000 acres a year ago.

The winter wheat seeded area remaining after winterkill was estimated at 2,103,400 acres, down 513,200 acres, or 20%, from 2,616,600 acres in 2008.

Canola plantings were indicated at 14,989,600 acres, down 1,169,900 acres, or 7%, from record plantings of 16,159,500 acres a year ago. Plantings of canola in all three Prairie Provinces were expected to decline, Statistics Canada said. Soybean area was expected to be 3,283,700 acres, up 312,400 acres, or 10.5%, from 2008. Flaxseed planting intentions were 1,725,000 acres, up 165,000 acres, or 11%, from last year.

A pre-report survey showed analysts had expected canola planted area to increase and total wheat area to decrease.

Intended plantings of oats were 3,954,800 acres, down 390,200 acres, or 9%, from 4,345,000 acres in 2008. Canada is the major source of milling quality oats for the U.S. and export markets.

Barley planting intentions were 9,476,400 acres, up 119,300 acres, or 1%, from last year. Corn area was expected to total 3,084,100 acres, up 109,000 acres, or 4%, from 2008.

Planting intentions data was gathered from a sample of 14,500 Canadian farmers from March 24-31.