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March 2010 (intentions)

Prairie farmers may increase plantings of canola by 4.7% from the record area planted in 2009, while the area seeded to durum wheat is reported to drop by a third from 2009. In the East, farmers expect a slight increase in soybean area.

Canola acreage may climb to record levels

Early indications are that Prairie farmers may plant a record area of 16.8 million acres of canola, up 4.7% (+760,000 acres) over 2009. This would be the fourth consecutive annual increase in canola area on the Prairies.

Most of the increase is expected in Saskatchewan, where farmers reported a new high of 8.6 million acres, up 700,000 acres over the 2009 seeded area. Farmers in Alberta reported that they may plant 5.1 million acres, an additional 100,000 acres from 2009. Manitoba farmers may reduce seeded area by 40,000 acres from 2009 to 3.2 million acres.

Area for durum wheat should fall

In contrast to canola, Prairie farmers anticipate seeding less durum wheat, a possible decline of 2.0 million acres or 34.9% to 3.7 million acres. This decline in seeded area appears to be primarily a reaction by farmers to unattractive prices, as a result of large world carry-in stocks from 2009.

In Saskatchewan, where the majority of Canadian durum is grown, farmers may seed 3.2 million acres, down 32.3%, and Alberta farmers could plant 485,000 acres, 47.8% less compared with 2009.

More soybean area possible

Total soybean seeded area could rise 2.5% from 2009 to 3.5 million acres.

Ontario soybean seeded area should rise by 50,000 acres to 2.5 million acres, while in Quebec, the area seeded to soybeans is reported to remain at the 2009 area of 598,000 acres.

Soybean area in Manitoba is expected to rise 8.4% to a new high of 450,000 acres. By contrast, only 50,000 acres of soybeans was seeded in Manitoba in 2001, when Statistics Canada first began recording this crop. Acreage has been increasing in that province since that time.

Available on CANSIM: tables 001-0004, 001-0010, 001-0017 to 001-0020.

Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 3401.

The publication Field Crop Reporting Series: "March Intentions of Principal Field Crop Areas," Vol. 89, no. 2 (22-002-X, free), is now available from the Key resource of our website under Publications.

Note to readers

The March intentions survey of 13,800 Canadian farmers is a survey of planting intentions in Canada conducted from March 24 to March 31, 2010. Farmers were asked to report their intended plantings of grain, oilseeds and special crops. Farmers may modify their plans prior to planting time as a result of economic and environmental conditions. Some farmers indicated they were still undecided about their final strategies for 2010.

March intentions acreages will be replaced by estimated actual seeded acreages from subsequent surveys during the year. Final acreage numbers for 2010 will be released on December 3 and are subject to revision for two years.

The stocks of principal field crops at March 31 will be released on May 10.

For further information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact David Burroughs (613-951-5138;, Yves Gilbert (613-951-2577; or Dave Roeske (613-951-0572;, Agriculture Division.

Table 1

March intentions of principal field crops areas
Crop 2008 (final) 2009 (final) 2010 (intentions) 2008 to 2010 2009 to 2010
  thousands of acres % change
Total wheat 25,010 24,457 23,221 -7.2 -5.1
Spring wheat 16,363 16,930 18,130 10.8 7.1
Durum wheat 6,030 5,660 3,685 -38.9 -34.9
Winter wheat1 2,617 1,867 1,407 -46.2 -24.7
Canola 16,160 16,200 16,907 4.6 4.4
Barley 9,357 8,663 8,344 -10.8 -3.7
Summerfallow 6,070 6,230 6,550 7.9 5.1
Oats 4,345 3,732 3,992 -8.1 7.0
Dry field peas 3,995 3,760 3,620 -9.4 -3.7
Soybeans 2,971 3,445 3,532 18.9 2.5
Corn for grain 2,975 2,974 3,016 1.4 1.4
Flaxseed 1,560 1,710 1,435 -8.0 -16.1
The seeded area remaining in March after winterkill.