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State Soybean Acres Up, While Corn Acres Decline in 2009
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 07/02/2009

We now have a better idea of how Wisconsin farmers are using their cropland during the 2009 growing season. The USDA released its crop acreage report, which notes the total number of soybeans acres planted in the state is at 1.64 million, up two percent from last year, and 17 percent more than 2007's drop.

Statewide, farmers expect to harvest 1.63 million acres for grain, up three percent from 2008 and up 18 percent from 2007. If realized, this will be Wisconsin's third highest planted and harvested soybean acreage on record. Herbicide resistant soybean variety use declined five percentage points from last year to 85 percent of the soybeans planted in Wisconsin.

Nationally, soybean planted area for 2009 is estimated at a record high 77.5 million acres, up two percent from last year. Area for harvest, at 76.5 million acres, is up three percent from 2008. If realized, this will be the largest soybean harvested area on record. Herbicide resistant soybean variety use declined one percentage point from last year to 91 percent of the national soybean acres planted this year.

In Wisconsin, farmers planted 3.75 million acres to corn for all purposes, down 50,000 acres from 2008 and down 300,000 acres from 2007. Acres intended for grain harvest are 2.85 million acres in Wisconsin. Biotechnology varieties were planted to 77 percent of Wisconsin's 2009 corn acreage, up from 75 percent last year. Stacked gene varieties were planted to the majority of corn acres at 37 percent; while herbicide resistant corn varieties make up 27 percent of the planted acres, and insect resistant varieties 13 percent.

Nationally, corn planted for all purposes in 2009 is estimated at 87.0 million acres, up one percent from last year, but seven percent below 2007. This is on track to be the second largest U.S. planted acreage since 1946, behind 2007. Growers expect to harvest 80.1 million acres of corn for grain nationwide in 2009, up from 78.6 million acres in 2008. In the U.S. 85 percent of the corn acres were planted to a biotechnology variety, a five percentage point increase from 2008.

Stacked gene corn variety use continues to increase, accounting for 46 percent of the national corn acreage in 2009. Insect resistant corn variety use was unchanged from last year, at 17 percent of the planted corn acres. Herbicide resistant variety use decreased one percentage point from last year to 22 percent of the 2009 corn crop. Wisconsin farmers intend to harvest 1.55 million acres of dry alfalfa and alfalfa mixtures hay, up three percent from 2008 and the same as 2007.

Nationally, 21.0 million acres of dry alfalfa and alfalfa mixture hay is expected to be harvested, virtually unchanged from last year. All other dry hay harvest intentions are 380,000 acres statewide, a 20,000 acre drop from last year. Nationwide, 39.2 million acres of all other dry hay are intended for harvest, up slightly from 39.1 million acres in 2008. Winter wheat was planted to 320,000 acres in Wisconsin this year, down 30,000 acres from 2008. Winter wheat harvested for grain is expected to reach 300,000 acres statewide, down from 335,000 acres in 2008. U.S. farmers planted 43.4 million acres to winter wheat and expect to harvest 34.8 million acres as grain.

Wisconsin farmers planted 300,000 acres to oats this year, up 11 percent from 2008. Oats harvested for grain is expected to reach 200,000 acres in 2009, up 10,000 acres from 2008. Nationwide, farmers planted 3.16 million acres to oats and intend to harvest 1.43 million acres for grain. Barley was planted to 40,000 acres in Wisconsin this year, down 3,000 acres from 2008. Barley harvested for grain is expected to be 25,000 acres, down 5,000 acres from 2008. Across the country, 3.63 million acres were planted to barley and 3.14 million acres are expected to be harvested as grain.

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