Chicago--A recent survey by Bloomberg indicates that farmers this year will plant the most acres since 1984, sowing corn, soybeans and wheat on 226.9 million acres. Bloomberg compared the added 2.5 percent gain to an expansion the size of New Jersey.
Farmers are planning big because of the historically high crop prices this year, which the Agriculture Department estimates increased net farm income 28 percent to $100.9 billion and boosted average farmland value to a whopping $2,350 an acre.
“There is unlikely to be any ground that won’t be planted this year,” said Illinois corn farmer Todd Wachtel, who plans to expand his corn fields by 21 percent. “Farmers know that they have to plant more when prices are high because they may not last.”
Corn and soybeans top the list of crops farmers are looking to increase. The survey shows that farmers will plant corn on 94.329 million acres, up 2.6 percent from last year. This is the greatest increase since 1944. Soybean acres will likely reach 75.309 million—the fifth highest in history.
“The area is available to have huge crops this year,” said Paul Meyers, a vice president at Foresight Commodities Services, Inc. and the former head of grain-market analysis at USDA. “We are headed for a surplus-supply situation.”
The Bloomberg survey included insight from farmers, bankers and analysts nationwide.