Fruit and vegetable acreage in Canada will be just under 530,000 acres, a drop of 3% from 2008, according to a report from Statistics Canada, Ottawa.


The biggest drop is in fruit production, which is down 3.6% from a year ago. According to the report, however, of the nation's 288,000 acres of fruit varieties, only 190,000 acres will be in production, and about two-thirds of the fruit, including nearly all of the country's blueberry, cranberry, grape and sour cherry crops, will go to processors.


Apples, blueberries and grapes represent nearly 83% of the 2009 planted acreage, according to the report, which was released July 3. Grape and cranberry acreage increased for 2009, but new plantings of apples, peaches and pears declined.


The vegetable growing regions are concentrated in eastern provinces with Quebec and Ontario, combined, claiming nearly 84% of Canada's vegetable acreage, the report said. Vegetable acreage is down from 2008, but only marginally.


Canadian growers are expected to harvest 238,000 acres of vegetables, down 1.3% from 2008. Unlike the nation's fruit industry, most Canadian vegetables - nearly 60% - will go to fresh produce markets.


Increased plantings are reported for lettuce, broccoli, cucumbers, leeks and shallots, while there were fewer plantings of green peas, tomatoes, onions and carrots.