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Published March 31, 2010, 12:03 PM

N.D. farmers expect to plant more spring wheat, less durum

More acres will be planted this spring for bread products than pasta in North Dakota; spring wheat planting is projected to be down in Minnesota.

By: Associated Press,

FARGO — The Agriculture Department says North Dakota farmers this year are expected to plant more spring wheat but less durum wheat.

Spring wheat is used in bread products and is North Dakota’s staple crop. Farmers are expected to plant 6.7 million acres, up 4 percent from last year. Acres of durum, which is used for pasta, are expected to be down 9 percent to 1.5 million.

The Agriculture Department says an increase in acres is expected in North Dakota for corn, canola, sunflowers, sugar beets, lentils, flaxseed and dry edible beans. Barley, oats, hay and winter wheat acres are expected to drop. Dry edible pea acres are expected to be unchanged in the state.

The estimates released today are based on farmer surveys in early March. Information on actual plantings will be obtained in early June.

Minnesota farmers plan to plant about as much corn and soybeans as they did last year, but less wheat and sugarbeets.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported today that Minnesota corn growers plan to plant an estimated 7.6 million acres, unchanged from 2009. The state’s soybean growers intend to plant an estimated 7.2 million acres, also same as last year.

But spring wheat planting intentions are down 6 percent from last year at 1.5 million acres, and sugarbeet intentions are down 4 percent at 445,000 acres.

Nationally, the projected acreage for corn is up 3 percent from 2009, while soybean acreage is expected to rise less than 1 percent and wheat acreage is forecast to drop 9 percent.