Iowa's corn plantings expected to rise 3.5% year-over-year to a record 14.6 million acres in 2012, USDA says; soybean plantings to fall 6% to 8.8 million acres

DES MOINES, Iowa , March 30, 2012 (press release) – The annual Prospective Plantings report published by USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service is based on the voluntary responses from nearly two thousand Iowa producers. Data collection began February 28, with final interviews completed on March 19. This report provides an indication of the acres farmers intend to plant. Actual plantings will depend greatly upon weather, economic conditions and the availability of production inputs at the time producers must make their final planting decisions.

Corn: As of March 1, Iowa farmers intend to plant 14.6 million acres of corn for all purposes in 2012. This is up 500,000 acres from 2011 and, if realized, would be the largest planted acreage on record. The previous record, 14.4 million acres, was set in 1981.

Soybeans: Producers intend to plant 8.80 million acres of soybeans in Iowa this year, down 6 percent from 2011. If realized this would be only the second time in 18 years Iowa farmers will plant less than 9.00 million acres of soybeans.

Oats: Farmers intend to plant 130,000 acres of oats for all purposes, up 10,000 acres from last year’s record low. If realized, this would be the second smallest acreage on record.

All Hay: Farmers in Iowa expect to harvest 1.15 million acres of hay for the 2012 crop year, up 10,000 acres from last year. If realized, this will be the second lowest in state history, trailing only 1.14 million acres last year.


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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