Corn acres drop 2 percent, sorghum soars 11 percent

Corn acres drop 2 percent, sorghum soars 11 percent

According to USDA's March 31 Prospective Plantings report, grain sorghum acres could soar in some states in 2015.

USDA’s March 31 Prospective Plantings report projects higher acres for soybeans this year and lower plantings of wheat, cotton and corn. Meanwhile, U.S. sorghum acres could soar 11 percent to 7.9 million acres in 2015, the agency says.


Corn planted area for all purposes in 2015 is estimated at 89.2 million acres, down 2 percent from last year. If realized, this will be the third consecutive year of an acreage decline and would be the lowest planted corn acreage in the United States since 2010.


Soybean planted area for 2015 is estimated at a record high 84.6 million acres, up 1 percent from last year. Compared with last year, planted acreage intentions are up or unchanged in 21 of the 31 major producing states.


All cotton planted area for 2015 is estimated at 9.55 million acres, 13 percent below last year, but up slightly from the National Cotton Council’s Early Season Survey of 9.4 million acres.

Upland area is estimated at 9.4 million acres, down 13 percent from 2014. American Pima area is estimated at 150,000 acres, down 22 percent from 2014.

All Cotton Belt states except Oklahoma report fewer acres in 2015. The largest declines are in Tennessee, 38 percent, Arkansas, 31 percent, Arizona and Missouri, 30 percent, California, 27 percent, Louisiana, 24 percent, and Kansas, 23 percent.

See a video on the Prospective Plantings report here:


Rice producers intend to plant 2.915 million acres in rice, a 1 percent decrease from last year. Prospective rice acres declined by 3 percent in Arkansas and 6 percent in California, while increasing 10 percent in Mississippi and 4 percent in Louisiana and Missouri. Texas acreage is expected to remain unchanged at 150,000 acres.

California medium grain acreage is expected to decline by 5 percent, or 20,000 acres from 2014, when plantings were down 24 percent. Louisiana is expected to increase medium grain plantings by 10,000 acres and Arkansas, by 5,000 acres.

Grain Sorghum

Acreage planted to grain sorghum is expected to rise 11 percent over last year to 7.9 million acres. This includes a 135 percent increase in Missouri, a 74 percent increase in Illinois, a 47 percent increase in Arkansas, a 20 percent increase in Texas and an 11 percent increase in Oklahoma.

Sorghum acres are expected to climb to as much as 615,000 acres in the Mid-South.


Peanut growers report they will increase plantings by 9 percent from last year, to 1.481 million acres. All states except Florida (9 percent decline) are expected to plant more or the same number of acres to peanuts as last year.


All wheat planted area for 2015 is estimated at 55.4 million acres, down 3 percent from 2014. The 2015 winter wheat planted area, at 40.8 million acres, is down 4 percent from last year but up less than 1 percent from the  previous estimate. Of this total, about 29.6 million acres are hard red winter, 7.75 million acres are soft red winter, and 3.43 million acres are white winter. Area planted to other spring wheat for 2015 is estimated at 13 million acres, down slightly from 2014. Of this total, about 12.1 million acres are hard red spring wheat. The intended durum planted area for 2015 is estimated at 1.65 million acres, up 18 percent from the previous year.

For more on today's report, visit

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