Report: Soybean Acres To Reach Record High

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has released its 2010 Prospective Plantings report. U.S. farmers are expected to plant a record high 78.1 million acres of soybeans this spring. A significant decrease is expected for wheat acres. USDA projects this will be the smallest total number of acres planted with wheat since 1970.

NASS expects that the total area planted to principal crops nationwide will hold steady at 319.5 million acres, after declining 5.7 million acres in 2009. While a record number of soybean acres are expected to be planted this year, this is actually just a 1 percent increase from last year’s previous record. Acres planted with corn are expected to increase 3 percent to 88.8 million acres. If these acres are planted, this will be the second-largest number of acres planted with corn since 1947.

The largest soybean acreage increases are expected in Kansas, up 400,000 acres, and Iowa, up 300,000. Increases of 100,000 or more acres are also expected in Illinois, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Expected corn acreage is up in many states due to reduced winter wheat acreage and growers’ expectations of higher net returns. Increases of 300,000 or more corn acres are expected in Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, and Ohio. Iowa continues to lead the nation with 13.5 million corn acres, despite an expected drop of 200,000 acres from 2009.

NASS estimates 2010 cotton plantings at 10.5 million acres, up 15 percent from last year. Wheat acreage is expected to decline 9 percent to 53.8 million acres. NASS expects the area planted to winter wheat to be down 13 percent from last year.

The Prospective Plantings report provides the first official, survey-based estimates of U.S. farmers’ planting intentions for the year. NASS surveyed approximately 86,000 farm operators across the country during the first two weeks of March. On June 30, NASS will release the Acreage report which will show statistics on the actual acres planted in 2010.

The full report is available here.

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