U.S. farmers are planting fewer acres with corn and soybeans this year, while sowing more wheat, cotton and sorghum, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service said in an annual report.
The area planted with corn, the nation’s most valuable crop, is estimated at 89.1 million acres, down 1 percent from 2017, with planted acres down or unchanged in 31 of the 48 estimating states, NASS said.
For soybeans, the planted area is estimated at 89.6 million acres, also down 1 percent, with the planted acreage down or unchanged in 14 of the 31 estimating states.
All-wheat planted area for 2018 is estimated at 47.8 million acres. While up 4 percent from 2017, this would be the second-lowest all-wheat planted area since records began in 1919. The winter wheat planted area, at 32.7 million acres, is up less than 1 percent from last year. Of this total, about 23.2 million acres are Hard Red Winter, 5.89 million acres are Soft Red Winter, and 3.62 million acres are White Winter. Area planted to other spring wheat for 2018 is estimated at 13.2 million acres, up 20 percent from 2017. Of this total, about 12.7 million acres are Hard Red Spring wheat. Durum planted area for 2018 is estimated at 1.89 million acres, down 18 percent from the previous year.
The report is based on surveys of about 70,500 farmers in the first two weeks of June. In a survey of farmer intentions in March, the planted corn area was projected at 88 million acres, while soybean farmers put their figure at 89 million acres.
Some 92 percent of the corn crop was planted with biotech seed varieties, NASS said. For soybeans, 94 percent of the 2018 acreage was sown with herbicide-resistant seed varieties. Both figures are unchanged from a year ago.
Other highlights from Friday’s report:
- Cotton: The total area planted with cotton is estimated at 13.5 million acres, up 7 percent from last year. Upland area is estimated at 13.3 million acres, also up 7 percent from 2017. American Pima area is estimated at 243,000 acres, down 4 percent.
- Rice: Planted area is estimated at 2.84 million acres, up from 2.463 million in 2017.
- Sorghum: Farmers say they are sowing 6.04 million acres with sorghum, up from 5.626 million acres last year.