that 15% additional acres will be planted in corn this year. This is
largely driven by the incrased used by ethanol production and increased exports
to India and China. This number of acres could change if wet conditions
continue to hold throughout the midwest, but it's safe to assume that the corn
acres in 2007 will be greater than previous years.
The USDA forecast projects Illinois farmers will plant 8.7 million acres of
soybeans, the state's smallest crop since 7.6 million acres were planted in
1976. Illinois soybean plantings are expected to drop nearly 14 percent from
10.1 million acres in 2006, the nation's largest decline, the USDA estimates.
Mother Nature will play a large part in the actual corn acreage planted.
Muddy fields are already slowing plantings in some states.
wet out here," said John Scott, a grain farmer in west-central Iowa. "Normally
by this time of year we're doing quite a bit of field work. There just isn't a
wheel turning out here. Illinois is in the same boat."