The US Department of Agriculture said farmers intend to plant 18% more soybeans this year as growers seek to take advantage of recently record high prices. As a result soybean futures were lower and corn futures were up in Chicago.
Soybean producers intend to plant 74.8 million acres this year, which is
nearing the record high acreage of 2006, where analysts were anticipating 69 to
71 million acres.
Corn plantings are to fall to 86 million acres, down 8%
from last year. In 2007 corn plantings reached the highest acreage since 1944 in
anticipation to increased need for bio ethanol production.
USDA said that
favourable prices for other crops, crop rotation and high input costs for corn
are motivating some farmers to plant fewer acres of corn.
is expected to increase 6% to 63.8 million acres, USDA said. The 2008
winter-wheat area is 4% higher than last year and is slightly higher than the
previous estimate, the department said. It estimates spring wheat acreage will
increase 8% to 14.3 million acres.
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