NASS expects decrease in soy, increase in canola acreage

By Erin Voegele | April 03, 2012

The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service is predicting a drop in soybean acreage this year. According to information included in the NASS Prospective Plantings report, which was released March 30, the drop is attributed to expected corn acreage increases coupled with adverse weather conditions in the Southern Plains region of the U.S.

NASS reports that U.S. soybean farmers are expected to plant 73.9 million acres of soybean in 2012, which is a 1 percent drop when compared to acres planted in 2011 and a 5 percent drop relative to acres planted in 2010. The report notes that Texas and Oklahoma farmers are planning significant reductions in soybean acreage due to drought conditions that have continued since last year. Overall, growers in these two states plan to plant 24 and 15 percent fewer acres of the crop this year, respectively. Growers in Kansas are also expected to reduce acreage due to drought conditions.

These decreases are largely offset by expected increasing planning in other states. NASS said it expects farmers in New York and North Dakota to set new records in soybean acres planted. Pennsylvania growers are also on track to tie the state’s record for soybean acres planted.

The Prospective Plantings report also includes data on expected 2012 canola acreage. According to the report, nearly 1.6 million acres of the crop are expected to be planted this year, representing a significant increase of approximately 500,000 acres—or 45 percent—when compared to last year. Only 1.07 million acres of canola were planted in 2011.

The prospective plantings report specifically shows that five of the country’s seven largest canola producing states are expected to increase their respective acreages in 2012, with Idaho, North Dakota and Washington expected to increase acreage by more than 50 percent compared to last year. NASS noted that producers in North Dakota—the country’s largest producer of canola—are projected to plant 1.3 million acres of the crop, and will tie the previous record high planted area, if realized.

A full copy of the Prospective Plantings report can be downloaded from the NASS website. 


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