Iowa Public Television


Planting of Corn Crop on Record Pace

posted on May 7, 2004

USDA next week will release two significant reports: The first is on world supply and demand; the second is on domestic crop production.

But the trade already is acting on a private report out this week on U.S. corn acreage. Sparks is projecting more than 81.5-million acres of corn will be planted this year. That's 2.5-million acres more than USDA's March guesstimate. And, as USDA acknowledged this week, those acres are filling up fast.

Planting of Corn Crop on Record Pace To date, planting of the 2004 corn crop has been a high-octane operation. USDA says the nation's corn farmers are on a record planting pace, with 63 of the crop already in the ground. That's well ahead of the five-year average of 40 percent.

The planting of other major crops is more on target. That includes 12 percent of the soybeans, 31 percent of the cotton, and 68 percent of the spring wheat.

Meanwhile, the hard red winter wheat harvest is under way in south Texas, the traditional starting point for the annual cutting. Analysts predict the harvest will reach the hard red mainstays of Oklahoma and Kansas by late May.

Though projections from the arid western U.S. wheat belt are calling for reduced production and yield this year, the world grain harvest is expected to increase to record levels. Even so, the environmental research group Earth Policy Institute says its estimated global harvest of 1.89 billion tons still would NOT be enough to meet worldwide demand in 2004.

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