A recent update of provincial government figures describing 2005 sowing request information for British Columbia shows a provincial 18 per cent increase in seedlings slated for planting next spring 2006.

Sowing request schedules show 216-million seedlings will be harvested and stored over the next few months in anticipation of planting programs for the spring 2006 plant.

This is an increase in the spring plant of 33-million compared to 2005’s spring program of 183-million. The figures do not reflect any possible increases in the summer and fall planting program for 2006 as the majority of those seedlings will not be requested until this fall.

Some regions and districts will likely show significantly higher increases being the sowing request numbers are not evenly distributed across the province.

Optimistically, this increase is a harbinger of what some experts expect will be a general ramp up to an annual planting program in excess of 300-million seedlings.