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U.S. corn acreage up for fifth straight year

Published: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 4:01 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, July 10, 2013 9:34 a.m. CDT

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. farmers successfully overcame a cold and wet early spring this year, planting 97.4 million acres of corn, up slightly from 2012, according to the acreage report released June 28 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). This is the highest acreage planted to corn since 1936 and marks a fifth year in a row of corn acreage increases in the United States.

This growing season did not get off to a good start. Hampered by cold and wet weather in early spring in much of the major corn-producing region, U.S. growers had only 5 percent of the crop planted by April 28, making it the slowest planting pace since 1984.

In May, however, the weather conditions improved significantly, helping U.S. corn growers to make great strides in planting. The week of May 19, farmers tied the fastest corn planting pace on record, planting 43 percent of the total crop during that one week. Overall, 63 percent of the corn crop was reported in good or excellent condition as of June 2, compared with 72 percent at the same time last year.

Despite being hampered by the same weather problems in the early spring, for U.S. soybean growers, 2013 is estimated to be a record-setting year. According to the report, farmers planted a record-high 77.7 million acres of soybeans this season, up 1 percent from last year. By June 16, soybean emergence remained behind the 5-year average in most of the soybean-growing states.

U.S. farmers also increased all wheat acreage this year. All wheat planted area for 2013 is estimated at 56.5 million acres, up 1 percent from last year. The wheat acreage increased in part due to an early row crop harvest, which allowed farmers to seed more acres.

In contrast with the increase in acreage for the first three principal crops, U.S. all cotton planted area is significantly lower in 2013, compared with last year. All cotton acreage is estimated at 10.3 million, 17 percent below 2012 acres. As of June 23, an estimated 43 percent of all cotton crop was in good or excellent condition, compared with 50 percent rated in these two categories at the same time last year.

NASS also released the quarterly Grain Stocks report June 28, showing U.S. corn stocks down 12 percent from June 2012, soybean stocks down 35 percent and all wheat stocks down 3 percent.

Acreage, grain stocks and all other NASS reports are available online at www.nass.usda.gov.

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