USDA sees corn acres down 2%, soy planted area up 1%

By Daniel Enoch

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, March 31, 2015 - U.S farmers will plant about 89.2 million acres with corn this year, down 2 percent from last year, while increasing soybean acreage by 1 percent, to a record high of 84.6 million acres, USDA said today, citing a survey of farmer intentions in early March.

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If realized, the estimated planted acreage for corn would be the third straight decline and the lowest in the U.S. since 2010, USDA said in its annual Prospective Plantings report. Estimated soybean acreage is up or unchanged in 21 of the 31 major producing states, the department said.

Doane Advisory Services was expecting 87 million acres of corn, 3.9 percent less than the 90.6 million acres planted last year. Doane also predicted 86.8 million acres of soybeans, 3.7 percent more than the record 83.7 million acres planted last year. Farm Futures was predicting 2.5 percent less corn and 4.2 percent more soybeans. A poll of ag analysts by the news services Reuters and Bloomberg put soybeans up 2.6 percent and corn down by 2 percent.

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Estimates for other crops include:

-All wheat planted area for 2015 is estimated at 55.4 million acres, down 3 percent from 2014. Winter wheat planted area, at 40.8 million acres, is down 4 percent from last year but up less than 1 percent from the previous estimate. 

-All cotton planted area is estimated at 9.55 million acres, down 13 percent from last year. Upland area is estimated at 9.4 million acres, 13 percent below 2014. American pima area is seen at 150,000 acres, down 22 percent from 2014.

The estimates were based on surveys conducted in the first two weeks of March that include a sampling of over 84,000 farm operators. The department will report on actual planted acreage in late June.

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