Source: Chuck Abbott, Succesful Farming, 19 February 2021, photo credit: Gardening Know How
Responding to strong exports and expectations of a U.S. economic recovery, farmers will plant 92 million acres of corn and 90 million acres of soybeans this spring, pointing to a record soybean crop and possibly the largest corn harvest ever, said the USDA on Thursday. Chief economist Seth Meyer also said farm exports would be a record $157 billion this year, including the largest-ever exports to China of $31.5 billion.
“More than any year in recent memory, this year’s forecast is subject to the uncertainty of how events may unfold over the coming year,” said Meyer in opening the USDA’s two-day Agricultural Outlook Forum, held online this year. U.S. economic growth is contingent on recovery from the pandemic, and months will pass before crop production, commodity prices, and export volumes are determined.
Still, said Meyer, “the long-term global demand outlook for U.S. agricultural commodities remains favorable.” Plantings of corn and soybeans, the two major U.S. crops, would be 5% larger than last year, corn up by 1.2 million acres, and soybeans up by 6.9 million acres. Corn acreage would be the largest since 2016 and soybeans only a hair behind the record of 90.2 million acres in 2017.