Largest corn crop in 63 years

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WASHINGTON – U.S. farmers planted 92.9 million acres of corn in 2007, exceeding last year’s planted area by 19 percent and surpassing the March projection by 3 percent, according to the Acreage report from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.
The actual planted acreage is the highest since 1944, when farmers planted 95.5 million corn acres.
Increase. Driven by favorable prices, growing ethanol demand and strong export sales, farmers in nearly all states increased their corn acreage. They set state records in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and North Dakota, while Iowa continued to lead all states in total corn acres.
Ohio farmers planted 4 million acres of corn this year, compared to 3.15 million last year and 3.45 million in 2005.
Soybeans. The increase in corn is offset mainly by fewer acres of soybeans in the Corn Belt and Great Plains, and fewer acres of cotton in the Delta and Southeast.
Nationwide, the National Agricultural Statistics Service estimates planted soybean acres at 64.1 million, down 15 percent from last year’s record high and down 5 percent from the March forecast.
In Ohio, 4 million acres of soybeans have been planted, compared to 4.65 million acres last year and 4.5 million acres in 2005.
Area planted to cotton totals 11.1 million acres, marking a 28 percent drop from 2006 and the lowest level since 1989.
The report also shows the nation’s farmers continued to embrace biotechnology. Corn growers planted 73 percent of their acres with biotech seed varieties, an increase of 12 percent from 2006.
Cotton farmers planted 87 percent of their acres with biotech varieties, up 4 percent from 2006, and soybean producers planted 91 percent of their acres with biotech seed, up 2 percent from 2006.
Survey. The service’s acreage estimates are based on surveys conducted during the first two weeks of June on approximately 11,000 segments of land and from a sample of approximately 88,000 farm operators across the United States.
Acreage and all other National Agricultural Statistics Service reports are online at http://www.nass.usda.gov.

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