A government report issued today shows farmers plan to plant 1% fewer acres of corn this Spring compared to last year. Projected corn acres in Iowa are also down 1% and farmers say they’ll use the extra land for soybean production.
The report from the U.S.D.A., which surveyed 86,000 farmers, is not expected to have much of an impact on grain prices. Darrell McAlexander, chairman of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board, says the actual corn acres planted will depend a lot on the weather.
"If it’s a warm, dry planting season, those corn acres will all get planted," McAlexander said. "If we get into a situation where we have a wet season, sometimes those plans get altered and (farmers) have to plant soybeans because of the delay in the planting." Some farmers may put off their planting decisions until they get in the field in a couple weeks.
McAlexander, who farms near Sidney in southwest Iowa, says he’s already committed to his plans. "We purchased our seed back in November and December," McAlexander said. "We’ve got our fertilizer on, so those decisions have already been made." The U.S.D.A. report states that farmers lowered their projected corn acres because of the lower prices they can get for the grain.