17 May 2010 22:00 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US corn growers have planted 87% of their 2010 crop, far ahead of the 61% planted at this date in 2009, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said on Monday.
As of 16 May, 55% of planted corn had emerged in the top 18 corn-growing states, up from 28% a year ago.
US farmers were expected to plant a total of 88.1m acres to corn this year, an earlier USDA survey said.
The USDA data indicated that the corn crop this year could reach a record 13.4bn bushels.
The USDA's corn-crop estimates "go a long way toward putting an end to the food fight between corporate livestock interests and American farmers and ethanol producers," said Matt Hartwig of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA).
The ethanol and biodiesel industries are major markets for US corn and soybean production, along with the market for livestock feed.
Growers as of 16 May had planted 38% of an expected 78.1m-acre soybean crop, compared with an average of 35% by 16 May. The USDA said 13% of the soybeans had emerged so far, compared with a 9% average.
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