Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service

With commodity prices significantly higher than last spring, U.S. farmers plan to plant 3.99 million (4.5 percent) more corn acres, 3.89 million (8.2 percent) more wheat acres, and 1.59 million (15 percent) more cotton acres than last year according to the Prospective Plantings report released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). In all, farmers reported intentions of planting 323.8 million acres across the 21 major crops surveyed for this report, a 7.09 million (2.2 percent) increase from 2010 but still 1.21 million acres below the 2008 total.

"Despite increased plantings for most major field crops as reported in today's Prospective Plantings report, the March 1 Grain Stocks report indicates continued strong demand and usage for these commodities. This suggests the current tight supply situation will continue into 2011 and 2012," said USDA Chief Economist, Joseph Glauber.

The largest increase in corn-planted acreage in 2011 is expected in South Dakota where growers intend to plant an additional 850,000 acres compared to last year when wet field conditions during planting prevented many from getting all of their intended acreage seeded. Iowa and North Dakota acreage is expected to increase 500,000 and 450,000 acres respectively. The largest decrease in planted acreage is expected in Texas, down 150,000 acres due to an increase in cotton acreage. 

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