U.S. farmers planted a record-breaking soybean crop this spring, according to USDA’s June 30 Planted Acreage report. According to the estimate, soybean acres are up 2 percent from last year, while corn acres are up 1 percent. Cotton acres are down 4 percent.

Soybean planted area for 2009 is estimated at a record high 77.5 million acres, up 2 percent from last year. Area for harvest, at 76.5 million acres, is up 3 percent from 2008, and will be the largest harvested area on record, if realized. Compared with last year, planted acreage increased by 200,000 acres or more in Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The largest decrease is in Nebraska, down 400,000 acres from 2008, as many farmers switched to corn this year. Record high planted acreage is estimated in Kansas, New York, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania.

Corn planted area is estimated at 87 million acres, up 1 percent from last year but 7 percent below 2007. This is the second largest planted acreage since 1946, behind 2007. Planting proceeded behind the normal pace, similar to last year, as frequent spring precipitation and cold temperatures slowed early season fieldwork and planting activities in the central and eastern Corn Belt, Ohio Valley, and northern Great Plains.

On May 10, corn planting was 48 percent complete, down 23 points from 5-year average. In late May, however, drier conditions allowed farmers to make rapid progress. Farmers reported that 97 percent of the intended corn acreage had been planted at the time of the acreage survey interview compared with the 10-year average of 98 percent.

Cotton plantings for 2009 are estimated at 9.05 million acres, 4 percent below last year. Upland planted area is estimated at 8.91 million acres, down 4 percent from 2008. All and upland cotton acres are the lowest since 1983. In Mississippi and Louisiana, producers planted the lowest upland acreages on record at 270,000 and 240,000 acres respectively.

The largest percentage decline is in California where upland producers planted 65,000 acres, 46 percent less than last year. Increased upland planted acres are expected in Arizona, Georgia, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. American-Pima cotton growers planted 149,400 acres, down 14 percent from 2008.

All wheat planted area is estimated at 59.8 million acres, down 5 percent from 2008. The 2009 winter wheat planted area, at 43.4 million acres, is 6 percent below last year but up 1 percent from the previous estimate. Of this total, about 31.4 million acres are hard red winter, 8.4 million acres are soft red winter, and 3.6 million acres are white winter. Area planted to other spring wheat for 2009 is estimated at 13.8 million acres, down 3 percent from 2008. Of this total, about 13.1 million acres are hard red spring wheat. Durum planted area for 2009 is estimated at 2.56 million acres, down 6 percent from the previous year.

email: erobinson@farmpress.com