OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA — Canadian farmers in 2012 intend to increase all wheat seedings by 12% from a year ago but decrease canola plantings by 11%, which would be the first decline in planted area since 2006, Statistics Canada said in its April 24 release of March Intentions of Principal Field Crop Areas.

“Planting intentions for 2013 show increases in spring wheat and durum wheat compared with 2012 as well as a possible decrease in canola acreage,” Statistics Canada said. “Indications are that both corn for grain and soybean areas could reach new records nationally.”

Farmers indicated they intend to plant 26.6 million acres to all wheat this year, up 12% from last year’s final seeded area of 23.7 million acres, Statistics Canada said.

Intended seedings of spring wheat other than durum were 19.4 million acres, up 14% from 16.9 million acres in 2012. Durum plantings were expected to total 5.1 million acres, up 9% from 4.7 million acres in 2012. Seedings of winter wheat in 2012 intended for harvest in 2013 were 2.1 million acres, up 2% from a year earlier.

Canola planting intentions were estimated at 19.1 million acres, down 11% from record seedings of 21.5 million acres in 2012 and the first decline in total plantings since 2006, Statistics Canada said. The decrease was mainly the result of an 11% decline, to 10 million acres, in the largest producing canola province of Saskatchewan, but declines of 9% also were expected in Alberta at 6 million acres and of 16% in Manitoba at 3 million acres. Canola production in 2012 came in below expectations because of adverse weather during the growing season.

“Farmers may modify their plans prior to planting time as a result of environmental conditions,” Statistics Canada said. “Some farmers reported that they were still undecided about their final strategies for 2013 as snow lingered in fields in most parts of Canada at the time of the survey.”

Statistics Canada surveyed about 13,805 farmers between March 25 and April 3 about their intended plantings of grain, oilseeds and specialty crops.

Intended seedings of oats were 3.4 million acres, up 18% from 2.9 million acres in 2012. Barley planting intentions were 7.2 million acres, down 2% from 7.4 million acres last year.

Corn area was expected to total a record 3.8 million acres, up 8% from 3.5 million acres in 2012.

Soybean plantings were forecast at 4.3 million acres, up 3% from 4.2 million acres in 2012 and also record high.

Flaxseed area was forecast at 1.2 million acres, up 26.5% from 1 million acres last year. 

Summerfallow was forecast at 3.5 million acres, down 21.5% from 2012 and down 62% from 2011.