Minnesota's corn plantings forecast to rise 7% year-over-year to 8.7 million acres in 2012--the largest on record, USDA says; soybean plantings to fall 3% to 6.9 million acres; sugar beet plantings to increase slightly to 480,000 acres

ST. PAUL, Minnesota , March 30, 2012 (press release) – CORN growers in Minnesota intend to plant an estimated 8.7 million acres for all purposes, up 7 percent from 2011. If realized, corn acreage would be the largest planted area on record, behind 8.4 million acres planted in 2007.

SOYBEAN growers intend to plant an estimated 6.9 million acres, down 3 percent from 2011.

SPRING WHEAT planting intentions are estimated at 1.40 million acres, down 10 percent from last year.

OAT planting intentions, at 200 thousand acres, are up 11 percent from 2011 planted acres.

BARLEY planting intentions, at 110 thousand acres, are up 57 percent from 70 thousand in 2011.

SUGARBEET planting intentions are up 1,000 acres from 479 thousand to 480 thousand.

ALL SUNFLOWER planting intentions, of 48 thousand acres, are up 20 percent from 2011.

- OIL SUNFLOWER planting intentions, of 30 thousand acres, are up 7 percent from 2011.

- NON-OIL SUNFLOWER planting intentions, of 18 thousand acres, are up 50 percent from last year.


U.S. HIGHLIGHTS
Corn Planted Acreage Up 4 Percent from 2011 Soybean Acreage Down 1 Percent All Wheat Acreage Up 3 Percent

CORN growers intend to plant 95.9 million acres of corn for all purposes in 2012, up 4 percent from last year and 9 percent higher than in 2010. If realized, this will represent the highest planted acreage in the United States since 1937 when an estimated 97.2 million acres were planted.

SOYBEAN planted area for 2012 is estimated at 73.9 million acres, down 1 percent from last year and down 5 percent from 2010. Compared with 2011, planted area is down or unchanged across the Corn Belt and Great Plains with the exceptions of Illinois, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

ALL WHEAT planted area is estimated at 55.9 million acres, up 3 percent from 2011. The 2012 winter wheat planted area, at 41.7 million acres, is up 3 percent from last year but down 1 percent from the previous estimate. Of this total, about 29.9 million acres are Hard Red Winter, 8.4 million acres are Soft Red Winter, and 3.5 million acres are White Winter. Area planted to other spring wheat for 2012 is estimated at 12.0 million acres, down 3 percent from 2011. Of this total, about 11.3 million acres are Hard Red Spring wheat. Durum planted area for 2012 is estimated at 2.22 million acres, up 62 percent from the previous year.

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