Informa Economics, a closely watched crop forecaster, predicted that U.S. farmers will increase corn plantings 2.2 percent next year after prices reached record highs this summer, according to traders.
The firm estimated corn plantings will rise to 94.3 million acres from the 92.3 million acres planted this year, traders said. It projected soybean plantings will jump 1.1 percent to 75.8 million acres and wheat plantings will rise 2.5 percent at 56.6 million acres.
Farmers are expected to plant more of the crops to take advantage of high prices. Prices for U.S. corn remain at historic highs after hitting a record in June, fueled by concerns production won't keep pace with strong demand. Corn for December delivery recently traded down 0.4 percent at $6.47 1/2 a bushel at the Chicago Board of Trade.
Informa also issued estimates for U.S. wheat production, pegging the 2011 harvest at 2.044 billion bushels, traders said. That is down from 2.208 billion bushels last year and slightly below the U.S. Department of Agriculture's forecast for a harvest of 2.077 billion bushels this year.
Informa estimated output of hard red spring wheat in 2011 at 444 million bushels and output of hard red winter wheat at 782 million bushels, traders said. The USDA recently pegged hard spring wheat output at 475 million bushels and hard red winter wheat output at 794 million bushels. Informa estimated the 2011 soft red winter wheat crop at 460 million bushels, above the USDA's latest estimate for 452 million bushels, traders said.
The USDA is slated to update its wheat output estimates on Sept. 29.