Friday, April 1, 2011

Just in from Washington

Forecast: Second Biggest Corn Crop Since World War II

Washington--Analysts polled by Reuters are expecting U.S. farmers to plant the second-biggest corn crop since World War II and the third-biggest soybean crop ever. “It could be step one in curing record-high food prices,” said Darrel Good, an agricultural economist and professor emeritus with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

USDA forecast in February at its annual outlook conference that U.S. farmers will plant an additional 10 million acres of major crops this year. The chair of USDA’s World Agricultural Outlook Board first made this prediction at AFBF’s annual meeting in Atlanta in January. The Reuters survey shows analysts expect 91.8 million acres of corn and 76.9 million acres of soybeans. USDA will release its annual prospective plantings survey on Thursday. “The biggest question is if farmers can come up with an extra 10 million acres,” said Mark Kessler of Harvest Equity, a consultant to farmers on risk management. “From what I see, the cropland in Indiana, Illinois and Iowa is already being cropped fully.”

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