Canola acres planted up 19% on Prairies: StatsCan

It's a record-setting year for canola on the Prairies.

It's a record-setting year for canola on the Prairies.

According to a Statistics Canada report released Tuesday, farmers in Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan reported they have planted 14.5 million acres of the oilseed this year, an increase of 17 per cent from 2006.

The previous record for canola was 1994, when 14.2 million acres were seeded.

Spring wheat is still the biggest Prairie crop, but not by much, StatsCan says. Total plantings were 14.8 million acres, a drop of 19 per cent from the year before.

Not since 1970 have there been fewer acres of spring wheat planted.

Meanwhile, this could also be a big year for barley farmers, according to the federal agency, with Prairie farmers planting 10.3 million acres of barley, compared to 8.5 million last year.

Peas are alsopopular in 2007. The number of field peas planted is up in all three Prairie provinces. In Saskatchewan, farmers planted a record 2.9 million acres.