MARCH 2012


(Posted Fri. Mar 30th, 2012)

Mar. 30:  American farmers expect to plant nearly four million more acres of corn in 2012, a four percent increase from 2011, according the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Prospective Plantings report released today.   If realized, it will be the highest corn planting in the United States since 1937, when 97.2 million acres were planted.  In recent years, the record corn planting was in the spring of 2007 when U.S. growers planted 93.527 million acres.




“Even after a difficult growing season last year, farmers harvested a bountiful crop to meet all needs, and it seems that they are on track to break records in 2012,” National Corn Growers Association President Garry Niemeyer said.  “This report shows that the innovative American farmer understands the increasing global demands of corn for food, feed, fuel and fiber and that they see the importance of meeting those needs.”


The USDA’s estimate for 2012 is for 95.9 million acres to be planted in field corn.  Assuming the five-year average 92 percent harvest rate holds and the projected trend yield of 164 bushels per acre is achieved, farmers will harvest 14.46 billion bushels. 


The largest acreage increase is expected in North Dakota, up 1.17 million acres over 2011, with increases of more than 300,000 acres expected in Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio and South Dakota also. The largest decrease is expected in Kansas, down 200,000 acres, with 100,000-plus acre declines in Texas and Illinois also. The actual number of planted acres will be released in USDA’s June 29 report.


In the Grain Stocks report, also released this morning, USDA shows corn stocks in all positions stood at 6.01 billion bushels on March 1, 2012, down eight percent from the same time last year.  In total, USDA shows 3.64 billion bushels of corn used between December and February, compared with 3.53 over the same period in 2011.


In the planting report, USDA also estimated:


  • Soybean producers intend to plant 73.9 million acres, down one percent from last year.
  • Wheat planted intentions are estimated at 55.9 million acres, up three percent from 2011.
  • Cotton plantings for 2012 are expected to total 13.2 million acres, 11 percent below last year.

For Historical Planting by Acreage for 2007-2011, click here.


For the full Prospective Plantings report, click here.


For the full Grain Stocks report, click here.