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95 million corn acres? Informa says so

Updated: 03/09/2012 @ 2:18pm

Private analytical firm Informa Economics on Friday raised its estimates for 2012 U.S. corn and soybean plantings from prior forecasts.

Informa, a closely watched crop forecaster, pegged corn plantings at 95.513 million acres, up 0.8% from its January estimate of 94.748 million acres, traders said. Farmers planted 91.9 million acres in 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The firm projected soybean plantings at 75.128 million acres, up from its January forecast of 74.568 million. Farmers planted 74.976 million acres in 2011, according to the USDA.

Informa reports soy acreage in the corn-belt is expected to be below 2011 in all states, except North Dakota and South Dakota. States in the east, south central region of the U.S. intend to plant more soybean acres and fewer cotton acres than last year, Informa estimates according to traders.

Corn for May delivery, the most actively traded contract, recently was up 13 1/4 cents at $6.48 3/4 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade. Soybeans for May delivery were up 6 3/4 cents at $13.45 1/4 a bushel.

As for wheat, Informa projected spring wheat plantings at 13.793 million acres up from its January estimate of 13.493 million, and durum plantings were seen at 2.415 million down from its previous forecast of 2.465 million, they said. Durum and spring wheat will be planted in the spring and harvested in the fall.

Informa estimates all wheat acreage at 57.9 million, which would be 3.33 million above last year.

Informa estimates total U.S. crop acreage in 2012 at 324.6 million acres, up 11.7 million from 2011's weather-reduced acres. The acreage increase is mainly in the northern Plains and western corn-belt where dry conditions are expected to result in a greater percentage of the available land to be cropped than Informa assumed in its December and January acreage outlooks, traders said Informa noted in the forecast

Informa also issued estimates for upland cotton, lowering its forecast for 2012 plantings to 13.450 million acres from 13.590 last month.

Rice area is expected to total 2.7 million acres, which is up 25 thousand from January's estimate and 11 thousand above last year.

The government will issue its first estimates on 2012 corn, soybean, cotton and rice acreage March 30. The crops will be planted in the spring and harvested in the fall.

-By Andrew Johnson Jr., Dow Jones Newswires; 312-347-4604; andrew.johnsonjr@dowjones.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
March 09, 2012 12:27 ET (17:27 GMT)
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