South Dakota corn producers demonstrated remarkable dedication in the face of challenging spring planting conditions to plant 4.6 million acres of corn, proving once again that providing ample supply to meet feed and fuel demand in state and beyond is their number one priority.
The trend continues nationwide, according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service crop acreage report released today which revealed 2009 corn acreage is estimated at 87 million acres, up 1 percent from last year but 7 percent below 2007. It is the second-largest planted acreage since 1946, behind 2007.
Planted acreage is not the only good news in the season’s production picture as crop condition is going strong with the average height of South Dakota corn this week at 16 inches, equal to last year’s average height but behind the five-year average height of 23 inches. Eighty-one percent of the corn crop has been cultivated/sprayed once.
“There is great satisfaction for producers when the crop is planted but then to also see that crop condition catch up with last year’s rate despite being planted late, lends great optimism for the industry and nation,” said Bill Chase, president of the South Dakota Corn Growers Association. “Weather will always be the key factor to final success but the choices producers make with seed selection and dedicated acres are management decisions that seal that fate.”
South Dakota was among a select number of Corn Belt states to increase their corn acreage, up 250,000 acres from a year ago. South Dakota planted over two-thirds of their intended corn acreage between May 10 and May 31.
South Dakota producers once again lead the nation in accessing the highest technology available to them by planting 96 percent of its corn with a biotech variety; that’s up 1 percent from last year, according to USDA.
“The technology available to producers through biotechnology and farming systems lends us a hand in exceeding expectations year after year,” said Chase. “The USDA crop report simply solidifies that our customers and consumers can have confidence in the safety net American farmers are committed to providing.”