Will Tennessee See-Saw Continue?

04:25PM Mar 19, 2013
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More marketers admit commodity price volatility is the new norm. States like Tennessee know this all too well – farmers have shifted crops significantly in the past three years trying to chase the best profits.

Tennessee stateSince 2010, corn and wheat acres in the Volunteer State have risen significantly, soybean acres have fallen, and cotton has bounced up and down.

Angela Thompson McClure, state Extension corn and soybean specialist, says a continued strong showing of wheat could signal an improvement in soybean acres.

"Wheat acres were up double from past years, so double-crop soybean acres could go up as well," she says.

The cotton crop has proven the most volatile in recent years, getting a 27% acreage boost in 2011, only to spill downward 15% in 2012. McClure isn’t anticipating a big rebound in 2013.

"Corn acres should be similar to last year, resulting in weak cotton acres," she says. "We could see some planting next week in drier parts of the state, but we are expecting wet and cool temps this week and into next week. Farmers are probably most worried getting started early enough on their corn."

Here is a snapshot of row crops planted in Tennessee the past three years:

2011 2012
Corn 710 790 950
Soybeans 1450 1,290 1,240
All Wheat 260 420 440
Cotton 390 495 420
Tobacco 22,300 22,000 24,000

(in 1,000 acres)

Source: USDA


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