Winnipeg - The Canadian Wheat Board is reporting the highest wheat exports in nine years and the second-highest overall grain revenues in its history.

The organization reported Thursday that it exported 18.5 million tonnes of wheat, durum and barley during the crop year that ends Friday - one million tonnes more than last year and the highest level since 2000.

Much of the increase came from new wheat markets in countries such as Iran and Indonesia.

"This has been because of the poor crop that the Iranians experienced and their need for imports," said board president and chief executive Ian White.

"I'm pleased to say that we were able to capture a large part of the market share of the Iranian import market. We were the largest exporter to Iran ... compared with our competitors."

Prices have remained strong as well, despite the volatility on international markets. The board's net revenue was estimated at more than $6 billion - second only to the previous year's $7.2 billion.

This year, however, may prove to be more of a challenge. A cold spring that was excessively dry across much of the Prairies will cut all-wheat production to 20.2 million tonnes, about 20 per cent lower than last year and 600,000 tonnes below the board's last forecast in June.

"This crop continues to be late and continues to struggle," White said.

"The issue for farmers now will be what happened for the rest of the season. Do we get a prolonged and warmer later summer and early fall, and when will the first frost ... hit the crop."