OTTAWA, QUEBEC — Area planted to spring wheat, flaxseed, corn and soybeans in Canada was estimated up from 2008 levels, while durum, oats and barley area was down, Statistics Canada said today in its Preliminary Estimates of Principal Field Crops Areas report.

Estimated area seeded to spring wheat other than durum was 17,485,000 acres, up 157,000 acres from March intentions and up 1,121,900 acres, or 7%, from 16,363,100 acres in 2008, Statistics Canada said. In the three major grain producing Prairie Provinces spring wheat planted area totaled 17.1 million acres, up 1.2 million acres, or 7%, from 2008, including Manitoba up 14%, Saskatchewan up 7% and Alberta up 5%.

"As of June 3, Prairie farmers reported that planting was virtually complete, with unseeded pockets remaining in mainly northern areas and in the Red River Valley regions of Manitoba affected by the spring floods," Statistics Canada said. The report was based on a survey of 25,000 Canadian farmers taken between May 25 and June 3.

Since the survey was taken, some regions have experienced late spring frost, dryness or excessive moisture, leading to replanting in some areas.

Durum plantings were estimated at 5,580,000 acres, down 150,000 acres from March intentions and down 450,000 acres, or 7%, from 6,030,000 acres a year ago.

The winter wheat seeded area remaining after winterkill was estimated at 1,866,900 acres, down 236,500 acres, or 11%, from March intentions and down 749,700 acres, or 29%, from 2,616,600 acres in 2008.

Total wheat area was estimated at 24,931,900 acres, down 229,500 acres, or 1%, from March intentions but down only 77,800 acres from 25,009,700 acres seeded in 2008, Statistics Canada said.

Canola plantings were estimated at 15,824,700 acres, up 835,100 acres, or 6%, from March intentions but down 334,800 acres, or 2%, from record plantings of 16,159,500 acres a year ago. Plantings of canola in all three Prairie Provinces were down from 2008 with the largest drop of 250,000 acres, or 5%, in Alberta.

Area planted to flaxseed was estimated at 1,720,000 acres, down 5,000 acres from March but up 160,000 acres, or 10%, from 1,560,000 acres planted in 2008.

Oats planted area was estimated at 3,878,500 acres, down 76,300 acres, or 2%, from March and down 466,500 acres, or 11%, from 4,345,000 acres in 2008. Canada is the major source of milling quality oats for the United States and other export markets.

Barley seedings were estimated at 8,778,300 acres, down 698,100 acres, or 7%, from March intentions and down 578,800 acres, or 6%, from last year.

Corn area was estimated at 3,041,100 acres, down 43,000 acres from March but up 66,000 acres, or 2%, from 2008. Soybean plantings were estimated at 3,476,000 acres, up 192,300 acres, or 6%, from March intentions and up 504,700 acres, or 17%, from last year.

Summerfallow, or area left unplanted, was estimated at 5,890,000 acres, down 180,000 acres, or 3%, from a year ago.

Statistics Canada will issue its first 2009 crop production estimates on Aug. 21.