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Tighter Margins = Fewer Acres in 2010

December 3, 2009
By: Sara Schafer, Farm Journal Media Business and Crops Editor

Linda H. Smith, Top Producer Executive Editor
Stewart Ramsey of IHS Global Insight expects tighter margins next year. Although fertilizer prices will be lower than 2009, seed prices continue to rise, he reports. "Although some growers may choose not to buy $400/bag corn with all available traits, you can only step back from technology so far—stripped down varieties are only available in certain quantities.”
IHS Global predicts acreage of the major crops will drop, perhaps 3 million acres. "Cotton will continue to consolidate. Yield growth in India is the final nail in U.S. cotton's coffin,” says Ramsey. "Wheat acreage also will be down. Combined corn and soybeans could drop some. Corn could be limited by the planting window: Fall fertilizer application that normally takes place in the Upper Midwest was hampered by this year's crop still standing in the field. Soybean yields could benefit from more full-season plantings versus double-crop because of unplanted wheat acres.” –Linda H. Smith

You can e-mail Linda Smith at lsmith@farmjournal.com.

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