Iowa Ag Review


As planting time approaches here in Iowa, the crop markets are reacting to the prospective plantings figures released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service at the end of March. For the first time since 1983, intended soybean acreage nationwide is equal to intended corn acreage. Both crops are being estimated at 76.7 million acres for the 2001 growing season. This represents a drop of 4 percent from last year for corn and a rise of 3 percent from last year for soybeans. All regions of the country, except the Northeast, report reduced corn planting intentions. Reasons given include high fertilizer and input costs, low corn prices, wet weather along the Gulf Coast, and lower water reserves in the Southeast. Most of the acres shifted out of corn are intended for soybeans. In over two-thirds of the soybean-producing states, intended soybean acreage is higher than last year. In Iowa, intended corn acreage for 2001 is 11.9 million acres, down 400,000 acres from 2000 levels. Intended soybean acreage is 11 million acres, up 300,000 acres from 2000.