U.S. farmers planted 92.3 million acres to corn in 2011, up 4.6% from last year, according to the Acreage report released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).
Driven by the higher commodity prices, U.S. corn growers increased the planted acreage by 4.1 million acres from last year. This is a third consecutive year of increased corn acreage and is the second-largest corn acreage in more than 60 years, behind 2007.
Overall, farmers planted 319.2 million acres to major crops this year. This is 4.63 million acres less than they indicated in the March 2011 Prospective Plantings report, but is a 2.45 million acres increase from 2010. The most significant acreage increases were reported in South Dakota and Kansas, where farmers planted 0.6 and 0.4 million acres more, respectively, than in 2010.
The nation’s cotton farmers also reported a significant acreage increase this year. According to the report, 13.7 million acres have been planted to cotton, up 25% from last year. The largest increase was reported in Texas where the growers planted 1.6 million acres more than in 2010, up one million acres from March intentions.
Despite an overall acreage increase for major crops, U.S. soybean growers planted 2.2 million fewer acres than last year. A total of 75.2 million acres have been planted to soybeans in 2011, the lowest since 2007. Despite reporting a large acreage decrease this year, Iowa continues to lead the nation with 9.2 million acres planted to soybeans.
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