In 2012, U.S. farmers planted 96.4 million acres of corn, up 5% from last year, making it the largest corn acreage in the last 75 years, according to the Acreage report released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). This marks the fourth year in a row of increases in corn acreage in the United States.
Favorable field conditions across much of the major corn-producing region helped corn growers get off to a fast start in 2012. By May 20, the planting was nearly complete, representing the quickest planting pace on record. Virtually all of the acreage had emerged by June 3.
U.S. soybean growers also reported a significant acreage increase this year. According to the report, 76.1 million acres have been planted to soybeans, up 1% from 2011. This is the third-largest soybean acreage on record.
Just as with corn, the weather allowed soybean growers to get off to a quick start this year. By June 3, 94% of this year’s crop was planted, 30 percentage points ahead of last year’s pace. Nearly 80% of the crop had also emerged by that time, 40 points ahead of the 2011 pace.
A significant acreage increase was also reported for wheat. The report showed that growers planted 56 million acres for all wheat, including spring, durum and winter, a 3% increase from 2011. More acres were seeded to winter wheat this year due to expectations of better net returns compared with last year.
NASS also released the quarterly Grain Stocks report today, showing corn stocks down 14% from June 2011, soybean stocks up 8% and all wheat stocks down 14%. With a total disappearance of 2.87 billion bushels between March and May of this year, this represents the largest disappearance on record for corn during this quarter. The soybean disappearance of 707 million bushels is also the second-largest disappearance on record.
Acreage, Grain Stocks and all other NASS reports are available online at www.nass.usda.gov.