Challenging Spring Reduces Corn Acres in South Dakota

South Dakota corn farmers got off to a fast start this planting season, but the month of May brought challenging conditions due cool temperatures and excess precipitation slowing their progress as 4.65 million acres of corn were planted, bringing the total down 7 percent from the previous year.
 
The corn belt overall witnessed an increase in corn acres planted according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service crop acreage report released Wednesday which put the 2010 national corn acreage at an estimated 87.9 million acres, up 2 percent from last year.
 
Planted corn acreage may be slightly down in South Dakota but the season’s production picture looks positive as crop condition is going strong with the average height of corn this week at 23 inches, eight inches above last year’s average and two inches above the five-year average height of 21 inches. Eighty-five percent of the corn crop has been cultivated/sprayed once.
 
 “With corn acreage down, farmers will continue to prove that they can meet current and future demands by producing plenty of food, feed and fuel without having to farm additional acres,” said South Dakota Corn Growers Association President , Gary Duffy. “Our state’s farmers are very blessed to have their crops standing in such great condition, especially with the excess moisture they have received this growing season.”
 
 
South Dakota was among three Corn Belt states to decrease their corn acreage, down an estimated 350,000 acres from a year ago. South Dakota planted over two-thirds of their intended corn acreage between April 26 and May 23.
 
South Dakota farmers once again lead the nation in accessing the highest technology available to them by planting 95 percent of its corn with a biotech variety; that’s down 1 percent from last year, according to USDA. Nationally, planted corn acres with biotech traits are at an estimated 86%, up 1% from last year.
 
“The technology available to farmers through biotechnology and farming systems lends us a hand in exceeding expectations year after year,” said Duffy. “Our farmers should be commended on using those traits which are ultimately necessary in order to continue feeding and fueling the world.”

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