According to a report issued yesterday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service, there's going to be more corn planted by farmers this year.
A lot more corn.
The NASS is projecting that due to high prices, farmers will plant 95.9 million acres of corn this year, up 4 percent from last year. If the weather cooperates and the projected acres are planted, it will be the largest amount of acres planted with corn since 1937.
Iowa farmers plan to defend the state's position as the top corn-growing state by planting a record 14.6 million acres of corn. ...
Growers in Idaho, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota also intend to plant record-high acreages. The largest year-over-year increase is expected in North Dakota, where farmers are recovering from last year's floods and declared their intentions to plant 3.4 million acres of corn, up 52 percent from last year.
That's a whole lot of corn.
The warm and dry winter will have an impact on plantings in other states, as well as on soybean acres being planted.
U.S. soybean growers intend to plant 73.9 million acres in 2012, down 1 percent from last year. Affected by the drought conditions that have continued from last year into early March, Texas and Oklahoma farmers plan significant reductions in soybean acreage, expecting to dedicate 24 and 15 percent fewer acres respectively to the crop this year. These decreases are offset by acreage increase in other states, such as New York and North Dakota, where farmers are expected to set new records.
As we have said many times in this space, the agricultural economy is the main engine driving the entire economy in our county, state and a great deal of the nation. The high commodity prices are sustaining the economic growth, but as farmers know all too well, their fates can be decided by a number of fickle weather events.
With all of the corn growing around the state, we can imagine that you may actually be able to hear it growing on a still hot July evening.
- Le Mars Daily Sentinel, April 10