U.S. farmers planted 92.9 million acres of corn this year, up 19 percent from 2006 and 14 percent higher than 2005, according to USDA's June 29 acreage report.
The plantings are up 3 percent from March intentions, resulting in the highest planted area since 1944 when 95.5 million acres were planted for all purposes.
The report estimated cotton plantings for 2007 at 11.1 million acres, 28 percent below last year and the lowest since 1989. Soybean planted area is estimated at 64.1 million acres, down 15 percent from last year's record high. Area planted to rice in 2007 is estimated at 2.74 million acres, down 3 percent from 2006.
Wet conditions during March and April delayed field preparations and corn planting in the Corn Belt and Great Plains. But conditions dried out considerably in the eastern Corn Belt and Ohio Valley during May allowing producers to make good planting progress. But the lack of precipitation reduced topsoil moisture and increased stress on the crop.
Meanwhile, excessive rainfall in parts of the western Corn Belt, central and southern Great Plains, and middle Mississippi Valley during much of May continued to hamper fieldwork. Despite the weather related delays, growers made rapid progress and planting was completed ahead of the average pace.
Lower cotton acres are estimated for nearly all U.S. states with the largest decline in Texas, at 1.4 million acres below 2006. Large decreases in acreage also occurred in the Southeast and Delta regions. American-Pima cotton growers planted 298,000 acres, down 9 percent from last year. Upland cotton planted area is estimated at 10.8 million acres, down 28 percent from 2006.
Soybean planted area is the lowest planted and harvested area for soybeans since 1995. Growers in Illinois and Iowa showed the largest decrease in soybean acreage from last year, down 1.75 million acres and 1.35 million acres, respectively. Large declines in soybean area occurred across the Corn Belt and Great Plains with planted acreage also down more than one million acres from last year in Indiana, Minnesota, and Nebraska.
Increases in soybean area occurred across the Southeast, where some farmers shifted from cotton to corn and soybeans. New York and Pennsylvania both set new record-high planted areas, at 215,000 and 440,000 acres, respectively.
All wheat planted area is estimated at 60.5 million acres, up 6 percent from 2006. The 2007 winter wheat planted area, at 45.1 million acres, is 11 percent above last year and up 1 percent from the previous estimate.
Area planted to rice in 2007 is estimated at 2.74 million acres, the lowest planted acreage since 1989. Area for harvest is estimated at 2.73 million acres, also 3 percent below last year's area harvested. All rice-producing states except Louisiana and Texas planted fewer acres compared with last year. Growers in Arkansas planted 1.3 million acres, down 7 percent from last year.