Farmers plan to plant more corn, beans, tobacco, but less wheat, oats


REYNOLDSBURG, Ohio – A March 1 intentions survey conducted by the Ohio Agricultural Statistics service indicates that Ohio farmers intend to plant more corn, soybeans, and tobacco acreage in 2004, while reducing wheat and oats.

The state’s corn growers intend to plant 3.4 million acres this spring, 100,000 acres more than were planted the previous year.

Soybean acreage is forecast at 4.35 million acres, up 50,000 acres from 2003.

Seedings. Winter wheat seedings are forecast at 900,000 acres, unchanged from the December’s forecast, and 160,000 acres less than was seeded the previous year.

The state’s oat acreage is expected to drop 10,000 acres from last year to a total of 70,000 in 2004.

The state’s barley acreage is forecast at 5,000, down 2,000 acres from last year.

Forage. Hay producers expected to harvest a total of 1.4 million acres, a 4 percent increase from the previous year. This includes alfalfa, and all other types of hay.

The state’s tobacco producers intend to harvest 5,800 acres in 2004, up 500 acres from 2003.

Sugarbeet acreage is expected to stay at the previous year level of 1,900 acres.

National numbers. U.S. corn planted area for all purposes is estimated at 79.0 million acres, up fractionally from both 2002 and 2003.

Expected acreage is up from last year throughout much of the Corn Belt as growers are hoping to take advantage of higher corn prices.

Most states in the Southeast and southern Great Plains, however, are intending to decrease their corn plantings as producers are switching to soybeans and cotton due to more favorable prices relative to corn.

U.S. beans. U.S. soybean growers intend to plant an estimated 75.4 million acres, up 3 percent from last year. If realized, this will be the largest planted area on record and a rebound from the three-year decline in acreage.

Growers in all states, except South Dakota and Wisconsin, intend to plant more than or at least as many acres of soybeans as last year.

Wheat. U.S. winter wheat planted area for the 2004 crop is 43.4 million acres, down 3 percent from 2003.

Of the total, about 30.9 million acres are hard red winter, 8.3 million acres are soft red winter, and 4.2 million acres are white winter.

U.S. barley growers intend to plant 4.68 million acres for 2004, down 12 percent from last year.

Hay producers expect to harvest 63.7 million acres of all hay in 2004, up 1 percent from last year.

U.S. oat acres seeded and to be seeded for the 2004 crop year are expected to total 4.31 million acres down 6 percent from last year’s planted area.

Burley tobacco, at 157,200 acres, is up 1 percent from a year ago but 1 percent below two years ago.


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