WASHINGTON, June 30, 2017 – U.S. farmers are planting a record 89.5 million acres with soybeans this year, up 7 percent from 2016, while corn acreage has fallen and wheat acreage is down sharply, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service said today in a report. The previous record for the area planted with soybeans was 83.4 million acres last year.
The report, based on surveys of nearly 70,000 farmers in the first two weeks of June, matches or aligns closely with a survey of farmer intentions released in March. For today’s report, NASS said corn farmers had indicated 98 percent of their intended corn acreage had been planted at the time of the interview. Soybean farmers put their figure at 96 percent.
The soybean planted acreage figure matches farmers’ intentions from March. Compared with last year, planted acreage is up or unchanged in 24 of the 32 estimating states, NASS said.
The area planted with corn is estimated at 90.9 million acres, down 3 percent from 2016, as returns from corn, the country’s biggest crop, are expected to be lower than other commodities. In March, farmers said they intended to plant 90 million acres with the grain. Compared with 2016, planted acres are down or unchanged in 38 of the 48 estimating states.
Some 92 percent of the corn crop was planted with biotech seed varieties, NASS said. For soybeans, 94 percent of the 2017 acreage was sown with herbicide-resistant seed varieties. Both figures are unchanged from a year ago.
Wheat acreage for all varieties is estimated at 45.7 million, down 9 percent from 2016, representing “the lowest all-wheat planted area since records began in 1919,” according to the report. In March, farmers said they intended to sow 46.1 million acres with wheat. The bulk of the planted area will go to winter wheat, at 32.8 million acres, NASS said.
Other highlights from today’s report:
- Cotton: The total area planted with cotton is estimated at 12.1 million acres, 20 percent above last year, with the lion’s share, 11.8 million acres, planted with upland cotton.
- Rice: Rice acreage is estimated at 2.56 million acres, down sharply from 3.15 million acres in 2016.
- Sorghum: Sorghum farmers say they are sowing just shy of 6 million acres with the grain, down from 6.69 million acres last year.
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