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Informa: Corn acreage pegged at 97.5 mill.

Updated: 09/21/2012 @ 8:13pm

Informa Economics, a closely watched crop forecaster, Friday estimated U.S. farmers harvested 14% more wheat this year than last year, according to traders. 

The firm pegged U.S. wheat production, for the 2012 harvest at 2.273 billion bushels, traders said. That is up from 1.999 billion bushels last year and above the U.S. Department of Agriculture's forecast for a harvest of 2.268 billion bushels this year. Informa estimated output of hard red spring wheat in 2012 at 486 million bushels and output of hard red winter wheat at 1.002 billion bushels, traders said. The USDA recently pegged hard spring wheat output at 463 million bushels and hard red winter wheat output at 1.012 billion bushels. Informa estimated the 2012 soft red winter wheat crop at 425 million bushels, below the USDA's latest estimate for 435 million bushels, traders said. The USDA is slated to update its wheat output estimates next Friday. 

Informa also predicted Friday, that U.S. farmers would harvest 11.093 billion bushels of corn, 366 million above USDA's September forecast and up 32 million from Informa's previous estimate. The adjusted production numbers are based on updated acreage estimate as well as a reevaluation of acreage expected to be abandoned. Informa pegs 2012 soybean production at 2.662 billion bushels, 28 million above USDA's September forecast but 16 million fewer bushels than Informa's previous forecast. 

Informa has adjusted 2012 acreage estimates based on the latest Farm Service Agency certified acreage data, increasing corn planted acreage 767 thousand from USDA's June estimate to 97.2 million. Soybeans acres were increased 1.06 million acres from USDA's June acreage to 77.1 million. Informa also estimated U.S. planted acreage for next year. The firm estimated corn plantings will increase to 97.5 million acres from the 96.4 million acres planted this year, traders said. It projected soybean plantings will jump to 79.9 million acres and wheat plantings will rise to 57.1 million acres. 

Farmers are expected to plant more of the crops to take advantage of high prices. Prices for U.S. grain and soy remain at historically high levels after hitting this year, fueled by production short falls this year due to the worst drought in the U.S. Farm Belt in decades. 

Write to Andrew.johnsonjr@dowjones.com 
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires 
September 21, 2012 14:43 ET (18:43 GMT) 
DJ UPDATE: Informa Estimates U.S. Wheat Output Up 14% From Last Year->copyright

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