Source: Renewable Fuels Association
The amount of land dedicated to crops in the United States has dropped for the second straight year in 2010, according to a report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The report, which shows total cropland has declined 6 million acres since 2008, is further evidence that growth in ethanol production is not leading to cropland expansion, according to the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA).
While 2010 corn acres increased 1.6% from 2009, the uptick was more than offset by reductions in acreage for other coarse grains and wheat. USDA estimates total 2010 crop acres at 318.9 million, down from 319.3 million in 2009 and 325 million in 2008. For the sake of comparison, RFA noted that total planted acres averaged 327 million during the decade of the 1990s. A record corn crop of at least 13.3 billion bushels is expected in 2010, despite the fact that farmers planted nearly 6 million less acres of corn than in 2007 when the first 13 billion bushel crop was achieved.