Iowa Ag Review


The March 31 USDA Prospective Plantings report lowered the national corn acreage and slightly raised the soybean acreage relative to the market expectation. According to the report, U.S. growers plan to sow 79 million acres of corn in 2003, which is unchanged from the previous year’s level and close to the five-year average. Most states in the Great Plains region reported a decrease in the intended corn plantings because of possible drought conditions and higher fertilizer and energy prices. This decline is offset by increases in prospective corn plantings by growers in the eastern Corn Belt who shifted into soybeans last year because of the wet season. U.S. soybean producers are projected to plant 73.2 million acres, down 1 percent from 2002. The expected soybean acreage is the lowest in the last five years and is slightly lower than the five-year average of 73.6 million acres. Counteracting the national trend, soybean acreage is expected to increase in the northern Great Plains as well as some areas in the south.