SD farmers gear up to meet growing corn demand

South Dakota farmers intend to plant 5.5 million acres of corn this spring, the highest total in more than 80 years.


A prospective planting report released today by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) shows that the state’s farmers plan to plant 300,000 more acres of corn than they did last year. That would tie the record number of corn acres planted in 1931.


Mark Gross, president of the South Dakota Corn Growers Association, said high numbers were anticipated, considering current supplies, demands and market prices. In addition, ground conditions are favorable for planting, unlike last spring when fields were saturated or flooded.


“Every four days, the world is growing by 800,000 people – nearly the population of South Dakota,” Gross said. “We’ll continue to need more corn for food, feed and fuel in the years ahead. American farmers can meet that challenge, and South Dakotans will play a big role in doing that.”


A large harvest would help replenish a shrinking corn supply both nationally and in South Dakota. The NASS reported that South Dakota corn stocks totaled 320.7 million bushels on March 1, a 3 percent decline from last year.

Planting intentions are based on a March 1 survey.


Nationally, producers intend to plant 95.9 million acres of corn this year, 4 percent more than a year ago and 9 percent more than in 2010. That would be the most corn acres since 1937 when 97.2 million acres were planted.


The South Dakota report shows that farmers also intend to plant 4.3 million acres of soybeans, up 5 percent from a year ago. Other projections are for hay acres to drop 14 percent and spring wheat acres to fall 12 percent. Farmers seeded 18 percent fewer winter wheat acres last fall.

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