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Contact: Ellen Dougherty, (202) 690-8122
Jeff Geuder, (202) 720-2127

U.S. Farmers Plant Largest Corn Crop in 63 Years

 

WASHINGTON, Jun. 29, 2007 – U.S. farmers planted 92.9 million acres of corn in 2007, exceeding last year's planted area by 19 percent and surpassing the March projection by 3 percent, according to the Acreage report released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). The actual planted acreage is the highest since 1944, when farmers planted 95.5 million corn acres.

Driven by favorable prices, growing ethanol demand and strong export sales, farmers in nearly all states increased their corn acreage. They set state records in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and North Dakota, while Iowa continued to lead all states in total corn acres.

The increase in corn is offset mainly by fewer acres of soybeans in the Corn Belt and Great Plains, and fewer acres of cotton in the Delta and Southeast. Nationwide, NASS estimates planted soybean area at 64.1 million acres, down 15 percent from last year's record high and down 5 percent from the March forecast. Area planted to cotton totals 11.1 million acres, marking a 28 percent drop from 2006 and the lowest level since 1989.

The Acreage report shows that the nation's farmers continued to embrace biotechnology. Corn growers planted 73 percent of their acres with biotech seed varieties, an increase of 12 percent from 2006. Cotton farmers planted 87 percent of their acres with biotech varieties, up 4 percent from 2006, and soybean producers planted 91 percent of their acres with biotech seed, up 2 percent from 2006.

NASS's acreage estimates are based on surveys conducted during the first two weeks of June on approximately 11,000 segments of land and from a sample of approximately 88,000 farm operators across the United States. Acreage and all other NASS reports are available online at www.nass.usda.gov.

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