March 31, 2011

Nebraska corn farmers may plant 9.5 million acres

Planting will be getting underway soon in Nebraska. This
photo is is from a crop update last year.
According to today's Prospective Planting report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Nebraska’s corn farmers intend to plant 9.5 million acres of corn this year, which is an increase of 350,000 acres from last year’s 9.15 million acres.

“If realized, this would be the most corn acres planted by Nebraska’s farm families since the early 1930s, surpassing the recent high of 9.4 million planted in 2007,” Kelly Brunkhorst, the Nebraska Corn Board’s director of research, said in a news release.

“Farmers respond to market demands and as demand increases, so has their intention to plant more acres and to produce more corn from those acres by increasing yields,” he said. “It’s an incentive for farmers to innovate, to produce more corn more efficiently while sustainably managing crop inputs.”

Nationally, USDA said farmers intend to plant 92.2 million acres this year. That's a 5 percent increase from last year’s 88.2 million acres and a 7 percent increase over 2009 when 86.4 million acres were planted. “Providing weather allows farmers to get rolling over the next few weeks, this would be the second-highest planted acres since 1944 and the most since 93.5 million acres were planted in 2007,” Brunkhorst said.

In Nebraska, Brunkhorst said farmers typically get started planting in mid-April and wrap up as quickly as possible in May.

“There is a good-sized window, but farmers generally prefer to plant early, although weather really dictates how soon and how quickly that can happen, and even impacts the final number of acres planted,” he said. “We had a great fall last year so a lot of prep work has been completed, and that should help many farmers this spring.”

USDA today also reported corn stocks, or the amount of corn in storage in Nebraska and across the country. Nationally, stocks as of March 1 were 6.52 billion bushels, down 15 percent from last year.

In Nebraska, there were 765.8 million bushels in storage as of March 1, 15.5 percent less than a year ago. Of that, Brunkhorst said, 380 million bushels were stored on farms, a decrease of 28.3 percent, and 385.8 million were stored off-farm, an increase of 2.5 percent.

Brunkhorst said while stocks are down, there is still a lot of corn in Nebraska and across the country. “We’re still looking at a solid supply to satisfy the demands for feed, fuel, food and fiber,” he said.

NOTE: This is the first post on Nebraska Corn Kernels for the 2011 crop year - so we've added a new tag "2011 Crop Update". Be sure to check back as planting gets underway, as we'll share photos, figures and more through harvest this fall. You can also look back on crop updates from 2010, 2009 and 2008.

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