29 March 2012 20:09 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--The 2012 US corn crop now being planted could become the largest in planted acreage since World War II, sources said on Thursday.
Market watchers have speculated that the size of the corn crop projected by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Friday in its annual planting intentions report will range from 94m-96m acres (38m-39m ha), compared with the 91.9m acres of corn planted in 2011.
The US record for corn planted acreage is 95.5m acres, set in 1944. Since then, the largest crop was in 2007 when 93.6m acres were planted.
"Estimates of the size of the 2012 crop have been heard as high as 97m acres," said Jim Prokopanko, chief executive of US fertilizer maker Mosaic.
Market watchers also predict the USDA will report that farmers intend plant 76m acres of soybeans this year, along with 57m acres of wheat, both up from 2011 acreage levels.
Strong global demand for grains and oilseeds amid tight supplies have supported high prices for corn, soybeans, wheat and other crops, providing farmers with the economic incentive to maximise the use of arable land.
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