As part of the MSA settlement, cigarette manufacturers are required to make annual payments totaling 200 billion dollars through 2025. The money goes toward settling states' lawsuits seeking to recover Medicaid treatment of smokers. But the tobacco business isn't exactly going up in smoke. According to the American Legacy Foundation, the tobacco industry currently spends $41.5 million per day on domestic advertising and promotion for its products. Not all products derived from agricultural crops like tobacco see this much litigation or controversy. For much of farm country these days ... the biggest consideration is what to plant and how much. One private firm this week released a survey of farmers' planting intentions.
Farm fields this year could see more soybeans and wheat and less corn, according to a private commodity research advisory firm headquartered in McHenry, Illinois.
Allendale Inc.'s 17th annual planting survey estimates 2006 corn acreage at 80.2 million ... down 1.5 million acres from 2005. If Allendale's projected yield of 147.58 bushel per acre holds true, there would be a 10.7 billion bushel corn crop in 2006 versus last year's 11.1 billion bushels.
Based on Allendale's survey, soybean planting intentions are 74.2 million acres, up just over 2 million acres from a year ago... and potentially the third largest in history. With a projected yield of 41.2 bushels per acre, the crop size would be about the same as last year – just over 3 billion bushels.
Wheat acreage is estimated to be the second lowest in 30 years – at 57.9 million acres – just slightly above last year's plantings. Using Allendale's
43.2 bushel per acre projected yield, the wheat crop would total 2.1 billion bushels, just fractionally above 2005.