USDA: Prevented corn acres top 11.21 million

By Erin Voegele | August 12, 2019

U.S. farmers were unable to plant crops on more than 19.4 million acres this year, this includes more than 11.21 million acres that would have been planted with corn, according to a UDSA Farm Service Agency report released Aug. 12.

“This marks the most prevented plant acres reported since USDA’s [FSA] began releasing the report in 2007 and 17.49 million acres more than reported at this time last year,” said the USDA in a press release.

Of the prevented acres, more than 73 percent were in 12 Midwestern states, where heavy rainfall and flooding this year has prevented many producers from planting mostly corn, soybeans and wheat.

“Agricultural producers across the country are facing significant challenges and tough decisions on their farms and ranches,” USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation Bill Northey said. “We know these are challenging times for farmers, and we have worked to improve flexibility of our programs to assist producers prevented from planting.” 

According to FSA data, South Dakota farmers were unable to plant 2.84 million acres of corn this year. Corn farmers in Illinois were unable to plant 1.14 million acres of corn, while agriculture producers in Minnesota were unable to plant 999,513 acres of corn. Corn farmers in Indiana, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio and several other states were also highly impacted. 

The report indicates that more than 85.87 million acres of corn were planted this year. That figure includes failed acres. As of Aug. 1, the report shows 431,238 failed acres of corn. 

The USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service also released an updated Crop Production report and the latest version of its weekly Crop Progress report Aug. 12. The Crop Production report predicts corn production will reach 13.9 billion bushels this year, down 4 percent from 2018. Based on conditions as of Aug. 1, yields are expected to average 169.5 bushels per harvested acre, down 6.9 bushels from 2018. Area harvested for grain is forecast at 82 million acres, down 2 percent from the previous forecast, but up 1 percent from 2018. Area planted for all purposes reached 90 million acres, down 2 percent from the previous estimate, but up 1 percent from 2018.

The Crop Progress report shows that 10 percent of the corn planted in the U.S.’s top 18 corn producing states is currently in excellent condition, with 47 percent in good condition, 30 percent in fair condition, 10 percent in poor condition and 3 percent in very poor condition.