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Informa drops corn, soybean acres

03/22/2013 @ 11:56am

Private analytical firm Informa Economics on Friday lowered its estimates for 2013 U.S. corn and soybean plantings from prior forecasts.

Informa, a closely watched crop forecaster, pegged corn plantings at 97.753 million acres, down 1.6% from its January estimate of 99.303 million acres, traders said. Farmers planted 97.2 million acres in 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The firm projected soybean plantings at 78.457 million acres, down from its January forecast of 78.777 million. Farmers planted 77.2 million acres in 2012, according to the USDA.

Informa reports soybean planting prospects have been reduced from last month by 350 thousand acres in the western Corn Belt, but were increased by 140 thousand acres in the eastern Corn Belt, Informa estimates according to traders.

As for wheat, Informa projected spring wheat plantings at 12.364 million acres down from its January estimate of 12.484 million, and durum plantings were seen at 1.990 million up from its previous forecast of 1.940 million, they said.

Informa estimates all wheat acreage at 56.074 million, which would be 338 thousand above last year.

Informa estimates total U.S. crop acreage for 2013 is projected to be 325.5 million acres, up 1.2 million from last season's total. The reduced crop area largely was in the Dakotas with other acreage reductions scattered across the Corn Belt states, Informa estimates, according to traders.

Informa also issued estimates for all cotton, raising its forecast for 2013 plantings to 10.367 million acres from 10.3 million estimated in January.

Rice area is expected to total 2.625 million acres, which is down 74 thousand from last year.

The government will issue its first estimates on 2013 corn, soybean, cotton and rice acreage March 28. The crops will be planted in the spring and harvested in the fall.

Write to Andrew Johnson Jr. at andrew.johnsonjr@dowjones.com.

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 22, 2013 12:10 ET (16:10 GMT)

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