Geographical acreage changes between 2006 and 2012
Other areas of increase include the Mississippi Delta, with several counties in west central Mississippi having corn acres increase of over 60,000 acres. Large acreage increases also occurred in an area centered on the junction of Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado.
There were a few areas that lost corn acres. Several contiguous counties in mid-central Texas and in eastern North Carolina lost between 5,000 and 30,000 acres.
The two percent increase in U.S. soybean acres between 2006 and 2012 mask the large shift in soybean acres that occurred between 2006 and 2012 (see Figure 2). Most counties in the Corn Belt decreased soybean acres. For example, many counties in southern Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana, lost over 5,000 acres of soybeans between 2006 and 2012.
These acreage declines in the Corn Belt are more than offset by increases in the other areas, with the following regions standing out:
- Many counties in northwest Minnesota, eastern North Dakota, and eastern South Dakota increased soybean acres. Some of these counties increased acres by more than 60,000 acres
- A swath of counties in middle Kansas increased acres.
- Counties within the Mississippi Delta increased acres.
- Counties in eastern North Carolina increased acres.
- Counties in southern Iowa and Missouri increased acres.
- Sporadically distributed counties in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and New York increased acres.
Like wheat, the relatively small U.S. acre change masks regional wheat acre shifts. Areas gaining wheat acres included several counties in Montana along the Canadian border. Some counties in western Kansas, eastern Colorado, and the panhandle of Oklahoma also increased acres. Acres increased in eastern North and South Carolina, as well as in counties in the Mississippi Delta.
Most areas lost acres. A notable area of loss was in North and South Dakota, where a number of counties had 60,000 or more acres of decrease. Acres also decreased in counties along the Nebraska and Kanas border.
Two areas significant to soft red winter wheat also lost acres. Counties in Northwest Ohio lost acres. And counties in southern Illinois lost acres.
Overall, upland cotton acres decreased by 20 percent between 2006 and 2011, with large geographic acre shifts occurred. Acres increased in southern Texas and southern Georgia. The Mississippi Delta and central California lost acres.
Summary of Regional Changes
Some of the more pronounced regional changes in crop production are:
- The Corn Belt increased corn acres and gave up soybean acres, becoming more concentrated in corn production.
- North and South Dakota became much larger producers of corn and soybeans, reducing wheat acres. North and South Dakota look more like the Corn Belt in terms of acres allocated to acres
- The Mississippi Delta increased corn and soybean production, giving up cotton acres.
Much of the acre shifts between 2006 and 2012 occurred in the Corn Belt, the Dakotas and the Mississippi Delta. It is likely that these areas will be the focus during the 2013 planting season.