(Recasts top of story with details from USDA report)
By Charles Abbott
WASHINGTON, March 31 (Reuters) – U.S. farmers will plant a
mammoth 88.8 million acres of corn — the second-largest
acreage since 1946 — and a record 78.1 million acres of
soybeans in response to high prices for the crops, the
government said on Wednesday.
While the survey results point to the prospect of bumper
crops, the acreage figures were slightly below trade
expectations of 89.2 million acres for corn and 78.5 million
acres of soybeans.
With normal weather and yields, the planting intentions
would result in a corn crop of 13.1 billion bushels, roughly
equal to the record set last year, and a soybean crop of 3.3
billion, just under the 2009 record, according to Reuters
calculations.
In a companion report, USDA said there were 7.69 billion
bushels of corn in warehouses and grain bins on March 1, the
largest amount since 1987 and more than expected by traders.
The U.S. corn crop was a record 13.1 billion bushels last
year.
The Agriculture Department’s “prospective plantings”
report, based on a survey of 86,000 growers, is the first gauge
of farmers’ intentions.
Farmers would expand corn plantings by 3 percent from last
year with the largest increases in Illinois, the No 2 corn
state, and Kansas, each up 600,000 acres. “Expected acreage is
up in many states due to reduced winter wheat acreage and
expectations of improved net returns,” USDA said.
Soybean sowing would be up less than 1 percent from 2009 to
set a record, said USDA. Plantings in Kansas would increase by
400,000 acres and in Iowa, the No 1 soybean state, by 300,000
acres.
USDA said growers planned to plant 53.8 million acres of
wheat, smallest since 1970, and 10.5 million acres of cotton,
up 15 percent from last year when plantings fell to a 25-year
low. The wheat harvest could total 1.95 billion bushels and
cotton could total 16 million bales weighing 480 lbs (218 kg).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* :

* :

* :

: