April 4, 2008
April 4, 2008 - On the heels of last year's record-high corn production, U.S. farmers intend to plant 8 percent fewer corn acres in 2008, according to the Prospective Plantings report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Producers plan to plant 86 million acres of corn this year. While 7.6 million acres less than 2007, this would still be the second-largest acreage since 1949.
The outlook for corn prices remains strong, thanks to increasing ethanol production and other factors. Still, favorable prices for other crops, along with crop rotation considerations and high corn input costs, are motivating some farmers to switch from corn. Iowa is expected to see the largest decrease in corn acreage, down 1 million acres from last year's record, to 13.2 million acres. Both Indiana and Minnesota are expected to drop 800,000 acres from their record highs of last year.
Nationwide, soybean acreage is expected to jump 18 percent, to 74.8 million acres. This is an increase of 11.2 million acres from 2007 and is just 1 percent below 2006's record high. Wheat acreage is also expected to rise in 2008, up 6 percent to 63.8 million acres.
The Prospective Plantings report provides the first official estimate of U.S. farmers' planting intentions for 2008. NASS's acreage estimates are based on surveys conducted during the first two weeks of March from a sample of approximately 86,000 farm operators across the United States. Prospective Plantings and all NASS reports are available online at www.nass.usda.gov