USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service has released the Prospective Plantings report – providing survey-based estimates of the planting intentions of U.S. farmers in 2013. According to the report – the nation’s farmers plan to plant a record-high combined 174.4-million acres of corn and soybeans. Corn growers intend to plant 97.3-million acres. The planned acreage is slightly higher than last year and six-percent higher than in 2011. If realized – this would represent the highest planted acreage in the U.S. since 1936. The nation’s soybean growers expect to plant 77.1-million acres of soybeans in 2013 – which would mark the fourth highest acreage on record. The figure is down slightly from last year – but up three-percent from 2011.
Corn growers throughout the south and the northern Great Plains intend to plant more corn. Record high acreage is expected in Arizona, Idaho, Minnesota, Nevada, North Dakota and Oregon. But most states in the Corn Belt expect to plant slightly less acres to corn this year. USDA reports the largest year-over-year decreases are expected in Illinois, Missouri and South Dakota. Iowa leads the nation with 14.2-million acres of corn. For soybeans – planting intentions are down across all of the Great Plains. North Dakota is the only exception. Planted area in most of the eastern Corn Belt and parts of the Southeast are expect to rise – nearly balancing out the declines in the Great Plains. The year-over-year national decrease is only 72-thousand acres. If realized – New York, North Dakota and Pennsylvania will set new records for planted soybean acres.
All wheat planted area for 2013 is estimated at 56.4-million acres – a slight one-percent increase over 2012. USDA projects increased acreage of grain sorghum and oats as well. Sorghum plantings are forecast at 7.62-million acres - up 22-percent from last year. Oat plantings are expected to be up five-percent. Barley acreage is expected to remain flat.
The Prospective Plantings report shows U.S. cotton growers expect to plant significantly fewer acres in 2013. Expected cotton area is down 10-million acres – a 19-percent decline from last year. If realized – planted area is Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Oklahoma will be a record low.
The acreage estimates provided by USDA’s NASS are based on surveys conducted during the first two weeks of March from a sample of more than 83,500 farm operators across the U.S.