Integrated Crop Management

Crop acreage shift in Iowa and the United States

The 34-page planting intentions report [1], by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), Agricultural Statistics Board, U.S. Department of Agriculture, was released on March 30, 2007.

Producers were surveyed about their intentions for 2007 during the first two weeks of March. Although changes can still occur, this is the best estimate of expected acreage. Changes can take place though with the possibility of planned corn acreage shifting back to soybean depending on soybean prices and if conditions are wet and unfavorable for corn planting. Yet many producers have already prepared the fields and purchased the inputs necessary for corn production.

Corn acreage across the United States is projected to increase 15.5 percent compared to 2006. Producers are slated to plant a total of 90.5 million corn acres versus 78.3 million acres in 2006. This is the highest amount of corn acreage in the United States since 1944 (95.5 million acres of corn). As expected, the increased corn acreage came primarily from a decrease in soybean acres. U.S. soybean acreage is projected to decrease 11.1 percent compared to 2006. U.S. producers are intending to plant 67.1 million soybean acres. It was a decade ago (1996) when total soybean acreage was similar to 2007 expectations. A significant shift to corn occurred in the southern states where cotton acreage was lessened by 20 percent.

Iowa still has the largest landbase devoted to corn production with 13.9 million acres expected in 2007; this is the most corn planted in Iowa since 1981 when 14.4 million acres were planted. Iowa had 12.6 million acres in 2006; thus, 2007 projections are a 10.3 percent increase. It is interesting to note that Iowa is lower than some neighboring states in terms of percent acreage switched over. See Figure 1 for total acreage values per state.

U.S. corn acreage (x1,000) per state. [2]Figure 1. U.S. corn acreage (x1,000) per state. Values noted within each state represent total planned acreage and the difference from 2006. For example, Iowa will have 13.9 million acres in 2007, and this is 1.3 million more acres than 2006. Figure courtesy of USD

States in the South boast the largest percent change in corn acreage with some increases greater than 200 percent, such as Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Locations north of these with the greatest percent increase were Missouri (+25.9%) and North Dakota (+53.8%). Although the percent increases are substantial for these regions, the corn acreage is relatively low (all of the noted have less than 3.5 million acres per state).

Midwest and Corn Belt states generally range from 10 to 15 percent increase in corn acreage: Iowa +10.3 percent, Illinois +14.2 percent (projected acreage is a record for IL at 12.9 million), Indiana +12.7 percent, Ohio +15.9 percent,

Michigan +13.6 percent, Wisconsin +9.6 percent, Minnesota +8.2 percent, South Dakota +8.9 percent, Nebraska +11.1 percent, and Kansas +10.4 percent. The resultant decrease in soybean acreage is shown in Figure 2.

U.S. soybean acreage (x1,000) per state. [3]Figure 2. U.S. soybean acreage (x1,000) per state. Values noted within each state represent total planned acreage and the difference from 2006. For example, Iowa will have 9.2 million acres in 2007, and this is 0.95 million acres less than 2006. Figure courtesy of

2007 proves to be an interesting and dynamic year for corn and soybean production across the United States. If the planting intentions are realized, this revolution will long be remembered in Iowa.

Lori Abendroth is an agronomy specialist with research and extension responsibilities in corn production. Roger Elmore is professor of agronomy with research and extension responsibilities in corn production.

This article originally appeared on pages 97-98 of the IC-498 (4) -- April 2, 2007 issue.


Source URL:
http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/icm//ipm/icm/2007/4-2/acreage.html