OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA – Canadian farmers intend to increase seedings of all wheat for harvest this year by 13.3% from a year ago and plan to plant a record-large area to canola, according to Statistics Canada, which issued it March Intentions of Principal Field Crop Areas report on April 24. Producers also will increase area for spring wheat, barley, flaxseed, corn and soybeans.

Farmers indicated they intend to plant 24,324,000 acres to all wheat this year, up 2,860,000 acres, or 13.3%, from 21,464,000 acres last year, Statistics Canada said.

All-wheat seedings were forecast to exceed pre-report trade estimates, which had forecast a more modest 9% increase.

Intended seedings of spring wheat other than durum were forecast at 17,178,000, up 1,418,000 acres, or 9%, from 15,760,000 in 2011. Seedings of winter wheat in 2011 intended for harvest in 2012 were estimated at 2,046,600 acres, up 358,000, or 21.2%, from the previous year.

Durum plantings were expected to be 5,100,000 acres, up 1,085,000, or 27%, from 4,015,000 acres in 2011.

“Durum wheat acreage in Saskatchewan is expected to rise 28.1%, or 975,000 acres, to 4.5 million acres,” Statistics Canada said.

Before the report, the trade had expected only a 12% increase in durum plantings.

Canola planting intentions were at a record 20,372,000 acres, up 1,510,000, or 8%, from the previous record planting of 18,862,000 acres in 2011. Seeded area in top-producing Saskatchewan was expected to be a record 10,800,000 acres, up 9.9% from 2011.

“This would be the sixth consecutive annual record in canola area at the national level,” said Statistics Canada.

Intended plantings of oats were 3,393,000 acres, up 284,000 acres, or 9.1%, from 3,109,000 in 2011. Canada is the major source of milling quality oats for the U.S. and other export markets.

Soybean planted area was expected to be 3,969,200 acres, up 139,400 acres, or 3.6%, from 2011. Flaxseed planting intentions were 1,040,000 acres, up 345,000 acres, or 49.6%, from last year.

Barley planting intentions were 7,968,000 acres, up 1,496,000 acres, or 23.1%, from 2011. Corn area was expected to total 3,561,500 acres, up 552,300 acres, or 18.4%, from 2011.

Estimated area of fall-planted rye was 295,000 acres, up 95,000 acres, up 47.5% from 2011, and for dry peas was 3,310,000 acres, up 42.2%, from a year ago.

Summerfallow was forecast at 3,970,000 acres, down 8,440,000 acres, or 68%, from 2011.

Planting intentions data were gathered from a sample of 13,400 Canadian farmers from March 23 to March 30.