US corn, soybean acres 2% higher than last year - USDA

30 June 2010 15:37  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US farmers planted 87.87m acres of corn and 78.87m acres of soybeans in the 2010 spring, both up 2% from 2009, data released by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) indicated on Wednesday.

USDA had predicted in March that 88.8m acres would be planted to corn, while 77.3m would be planted to soybeans.

The largest increases in planted corn acreage compared to last year were reported in Illinois and Kansas, both up 600,000 acres from 2009, the USDA said in its highly-anticipated planted acres report, released annually on 30 June.

Other notable increases were shown in Indiana, up 400,000 acres; Missouri, up 300,000 acres; and Ohio, up 250,000 acres.

The largest decrease in planted acreage was reported in Iowa, down 400,000 acres, while both Nebraska and South Dakota were down 350,000 acres from the previous year.

Corn growers expect to harvest 81m acres for grain, USDA said.

The US ethanol industry would consume 4.5bn bushels of corn in 2010, and 4.7bn bushels in 2011, according to the agency.

Projected soybean acreage for harvest, at 78m acres, was also up 2% from 2009, and would be the largest harvested area on record if realised, USDA said.

Corn and soybean planting got off to a rapid start in 2010 due to favourable conditions across much of the major corn-producing region during the middle of April.

By April 25, half of the US corn acreage had been planted, the earliest date on record that planting had progressed to the midpoint, USDA said.

Producers planted 86% of their acreage with seed varieties developed using biotechnology, up 1% from 2009, according to the report.

All wheat-planted area was estimated at 54.3m acres, down 8% from 2009, and the lowest US total since 1971.

All cotton plantings for 2010 were estimated at 10.9m acres, 19% above last year.

Traders at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on Wednesday treated the acreage reports for corn and soybeans bullishly, with both crops trading marginally higher at the market opening.

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By: Frank Zaworski
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