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Readers draw lines for acreage battle

October 10, 2008
By: Sara Schafer, Farm Journal Media Business and Crops Editor

Early indications for the 2009 crop year show rising costs and sliding prices limiting corn acres and soybeans gaining. Cotton is again taking a major hit in a survey of Top Producer readers. Of course, final decisions depend on where prices head.

The survey respondents expect to increase 2009 soybean acres about 2.5% from 2008 levels, and more than 10% above 2007 plantings. Corn will be up less than 1% over this year's 87 million acres, they say.

Regardless how the corn and bean trade-off shakes out, the nation's cotton crop appears to continue fighting a losing battle for acreage. Respon-dents report they will plant more than 20% fewer acres next year.

Seven dollars seems to be the magic number for corn. Growers say corn acres will begin to mount a comeback if prices reach $6.51/bu. and will begin to gain significant ground if prices exceed $7/bu. Fourteen dollars is the mark for soybeans to gain the advantage in the battle.

Cotton acres will not stage a significant comeback unless prices reach 91¢/lb. or more, according to our respondents.  —Greg Vincent

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FEATURED IN: Top Producer - NOVEMBER 2008
RELATED TOPICS: latest issue, News, Reader Insights

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