USDA: Corn planting down, but still fifth largest acreage

By Erin Voegele | March 31, 2014

The USDA’s National Agriculture Statistics Service has released its Prospective Plantings report, predicting 91.7 million acres of corn will be planted this year, down 4 percent from last year. If realized, the report notes that area will represent the lowest planted acreage in the U.S. since 2010. It would, however, still be the fifth largest corn acreage since 1944.

On a state-by-state basis, corn acreage is expected to drop in 32 states. Increases, however, are expected in Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, and Utah. Corn acreage is expected to remain unchanged in Connecticut, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Washington, and Wisconsin. Iowa is expected to remain the state with the largest corn acreage, with 14 million acres planted this year, up from 13.6 million last year. If realized, the report notes that the 380,000 acres of corn expected to be planted in Idaho would be a record high.  

While farmers are expected to plant less corn this year, the USDA predicts planted acreage for soybeans will increase by 6 percent, reaching 81.5 million acres. Wheat acreage is expected to be at 55.8 million acres, down 1 percent. Only 6.68 million acres of sorghum is forecast to be planted this year, down 17 percent from 8.06 million acres in 2013. Sugar beet acreage is also expected to drop slightly, from 1.2 million acres last year to 1.15 million acres this year, resulting in a 4 percent reduction.

A full copy of the report can be downloaded from the NASS website.