March 31, 2010

Nebraska farmers looking at 9.2 million acres of corn

Farmers in Nebraska intend to plant some 9.2 million acres of corn this year, about 1 percent more than the 9.15 million they planted last year and 4.5 percent more than the 8.8 million planted in 2008, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its Prospective Plantings report released this morning.

“If realized, acres planted to corn will be the largest since 9.4 million were planted in 2007 – and that was the most corn acres planted in Nebraska since 1936,” Kelly Brunkhorst, the Nebraska Corn Board’s director of research, said in this news release.

Nationally, USDA said, corn farmers intend to plant 88.8 million acres, which is up 3 percent from last year’s 86.5 million. It’s also about 3 percent more than 2008’s plantings of 86.0 million acres.

Below is a chart from USDA that shows recent corn and soy acres (2010 is today's estimate). (Click for a larger image.)

Grain Stocks
In its Grain Stocks report, USDA said corn stocks were pretty high, with some 7.7 billion bushels of corn being stored in all positions across the United States as of March 1. That’s up 11 percent from last year.

In Nebraska, there are 906.4 million bushels in storage, which is up 12 percent from a year ago. Brunkhorst said 379.4 million are stored off-farm, an 18 percent increase, and another 560 million bushels are stored on-farm, an 8 percent increase.

“There is a lot of corn still in Nebraska and across the country, plenty to satisfy the demands for feed, fuel, food and fiber,” Brunkhorst said. “Over the last year farmers continued to demonstrate that with today’s technology and know-how, and their hard work, they can produce a very large crop, even with the challenges of the long harvest we’ve seen in the past year.”

The chart below, provided by Brunkhorst, shows historical corn stocks in Nebraska. Note that corn stocks in all positions are the highest in Nebraska since 1989. (Click for a larger image.)

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