Source: University of Illinois

The sharp decline in winter wheat seedings in 2009 has analysts guessing how that acreage will be divided among spring planted crops in 2010, according to Darrel Good, Agricultural Economist, University of Illinois. There are really two questions related to acreage in 2010: 1) how many acres will get planted to all crops? and 2) how will that acreage be divided?

The 6.2 million acre reduction in winter wheat seedings and the 2.4 million acres of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts that matured in 2009 and were not extended may or may not all be planted in the spring of 2010. The acreage of principal crops planted in the U.S. varied by 13.1 million acres over the past 10 years. Planted acreage plus CRP acreage varied by 9.6 million acres. The recent peak in planted acreage was in 2008, following four consecutive years of declines from 2003 through 2006. High prices and generally good returns resulted in a 9.4 million acre increase in total plantings from 2006 to 2008. Planted acreage declined by 5.7 million acres in 2009 even as CRP acreage declined by 1.1 million. Total planted acreage may or may not increase in 2010, depending on prospects for crop returns in the spring. It is difficult to anticipate the magnitude of total planted acreage.

Original press release.