April 5, 2007

Corn Planting Expected To Increase Across State

Higher prices as well as continuing growth of the ethanol industry have spurred a large increase in acreage expected to be planted in corn in 2007.

Missouri farmers reported their initial plans for the upcoming growing season in a survey conducted by the Missouri Agricultural Statistics Service.

Almost everyone in the agriculture industry expected farmers to substantially increase corn acres in response to historically high prices, said Gene Danekas, Director, Missouri Agricultural Statistics. Missouri farmers reported their intentions to do just that, with the extra corn acres coming mostly out of soybeans, but also cotton and rice. Since many Missouri crop producers have continuous soybeans, its easy for them to plant more corn without the worry of a corn-on-corn yield drag.

Missouri wheat and hay acreage are also estimated to be up 5 percent and 4 percent, respectively, with sorghum anticipated to be down 5 percent.

Soybean planted acres in Missouri in 2007 are expected to total 4.60 million acres, down 11 percent from last year and the lowest level since 1996.

Missouri farmers intend to plant 3.40 million acres of corn in 2007, up 26 percent from last year and 10 percent more than the 2005 level of 3.10 million acres. This would be the highest corn acreage in the state since 1963.

Sorghum is expected to be planted on 95,000 acres in Missouri, down 5 percent from 2006 and 30 percent below the level of 2 years ago. If realized, the current estimate would continue a sharp downtrend that has been in place for over two decades.

Winter Wheat plantings in Missouri are estimated at 1.05 million acres, up 5 percent from 2006 and unchanged from the December forecast.

Hay is expected to be harvested from 4.30 million acres in Missouri, an increase of 4 percent over last year and 8 percent above 2005.

Corn growers in the U.S. intend to plant 90.5 million acres of corn for all purposes in 2007, up 15 percent from 2006 and 11 percent higher than 2005. If realized this would be the highest acreage since 1944, when 95.5 million acres were planted for all purposes. Expected acreage is up in nearly all States as high corn prices are encouraging farmers to plant more acres to corn. The increase in intended corn acres is partially offset by lower expected acres of soybeans in the Corn Belt and Great Plains and fewer expected acres of cotton and rice in the Delta and Southeast. Illinois farmers intend to plant a record high 12.9 million acres of corn this spring, up 1.60 million acres from last year. North Dakota and Minnesota growers also expect to plant record high corn acres, up 910,000 and 600,000 acres, respectively.

U.S. soybean producers intend to plant 67.1 million acres in 2007, down 11 percent from last year. If realized, this will be the lowest planted area since 1996. Acreage decreases are expected in all growing areas, except in New York and the Southeast. Large decreases in soybean acreage are expected across the Corn Belt, with the largest decline expected in Illinois, down 1.40 million acres from 2006. However, area planted to soybeans is expected to increase in the Southeast, with Georgia expecting the largest increase from last year at 95,000 acres. Planted acreage in New York is expected to be the largest on record at 210,000 acres.

All wheat planted area in the U.S. is estimated at 60.3 million acres, up 5 percent from 2006. The 2007 winter wheat planted area, at 44.5 million acres, is 10 percent above last year and up 1 percent from the previous estimate. Of this total, about 31.9 million acres are Hard Red Winter, 8.66 million acres are Soft Red Winter, and 3.92 million acres are White Winter. Area planted to other spring wheat for 2007 is expected to total 13.8 million acres, down 7 percent from 2006. Of this total, about 13.3 million acres are Hard Red Spring wheat. The intended Durum planted area for 2007 is 1.99 million acres, up 6 percent from the previous year.

Soybean stocks in all positions in Missouri on March 1, 2007 totaled 79.1 million bushels, down 6 percent from a year earlier. Stocks on farms accounted for 49.0 million bushels, 6 percent below a year ago, while beans in commercial facilities in the state totaled 30.1 million bushels, down 5 percent from March 1, 2006.

Missouri corn stocks on March 1 totaled 140 million bushels, 16 percent below last year. On-farm stocks stood at 87.0 million bushels, down 17 percent from March 1, 2006, while off-farm stocks declined 14 percent to 53.0 million bushels.

Missouri had 20.2 million bushels of wheat stocks on hand on March 1, an increase of 18 percent from a year ago. Wheat on farms totaled 900,000 bushels, 20 percent more than last year at this time, while commercial facilities held 19.3 million bushels, 18 percent more than a year earlier.

Sorghum stocks in Missouri on March 1 totaled 2.57 million bushels, 37 percent below a year earlier and the lowest level since 1957 for this date. Of the total, sorghum on farms accounted for 1.10 million bushels and off-farm facilities held 1.47 million bushels.

Corn stocks in all positions on March 1, 2007 in the United States totaled 6.07 billion bushels, down 13 percent from March 1, 2006. Of the total stocks, 3.33 billion bushels are stored on farms, down 18 percent from a year earlier. Off-farm stocks, at 2.74 billion bushels, are down 7 percent from a year ago. The December 2006 - February 2007 indicated disappearance is 2.86 billion bushels, compared with 2.83 billion bushels during the same period last year.

Soybeans stored in all positions in the U.S. on March 1, 2007 totaled 1.78 billion bushels, up 7 percent from a year ago and the largest March 1 stocks on record. Soybean stocks stored on farms are estimated at 910 million bushels, up 4 percent from a year ago. Off-farm stocks, at 874 million bushels, are up 10 percent from last March. Indicated disappearance for the December 2006 - February 2007 quarter totaled 917 million bushels, up 10 percent from the same period a year earlier.

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