U.S. farmers will plant more soybean and wheat crops this year after prices reached records, while corn and cotton acres will drop, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.
The government survey showed growers will seed 74.793 million acres with soybeans, up 18 percent from 63.631 million last year, the USDA said today in a report. Spring-wheat planting will jump 7.8 percent, as corn planting drops 8.1 percent and cotton acres fall 13 percent, the USDA said.
Increased soybean and wheat planting may help refill dwindling inventories, while declining corn output may squeeze supplies available for ethanol makers, including Archer Daniels Midland Co. Prices for most farm commodities reached records this year on booming demand for food, fuel and animal feed.
``The acreage shift into soybeans and away from corn was larger than people expected,'' said Greg Grow, director of agribusiness for Archer Financial Services. ``The markets sense we now need to raise corn prices at the expense of soybeans,'' to increase the incentives for farmers to plant corn this year, Grow said.
Corn acres will fall more than expected, to 86.014 million, as growers make room for soybeans, the USDA said....MORE
Monday, March 31, 2008