At last count, about 85 percent of planted soybean acres ... and 45 percent of planted corn ... were biotech crops.
Planted acres are just part of the equation that determines the bottom line for farmers. Other critical factors in setting commodity prices were revealed this week in USDA's May crop production ... and supply and demand reports.
Here are the numbers:
Soybean production for 2005 was pegged at 2.9 billion bushels, down 8 percent from last year's record crop. USDA put prices in a range of $4.70 to $5.70 a bushel, compared with $5.65 last year.
Projections for this year's corn crop stand at 10.9 billion bushels, down 7 percent from last year. The estimated price range of $1.55 to $1.95 a bushel is down from last year's average of $2.10.
Wheat growers will harvest slightly more than last year, reaping an estimated 2.2 billion bushels. But wheat exports are expected to decline due to increased competition form Europe and the former Soviet Union. Producer prices for wheat are expected to be between $2.55 and $3.05 per bushel -- down substantially from last year's average of $3.39.
As spring planting progresses, the markets increasingly will be influenced by the weather. And as broad bands of rain moved across the grain belt this week, the bears were turned loose in the commodity markets.