Corn acreage increasingPublished 10:23pm Tuesday, April 3, 2012
LANSING — Michigan’s corn farmers are set to plant an estimated 2.6 million acres of corn this spring, which would be a four-percent increase from 2011 planted acres.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Prospective Plantings report, Michigan farmers are not the only ones increasing corn acres in 2012. Farmers nationwide are planning on planting nearly four million more acres of corn in 2012 than they did in 2011. The report states that farmers intend to plant 95.9 million acres of corn, which would also be a four-percent increase from 2011 acreage.
“Even after a difficult spring and growing season last year, Michigan’s corn farmers harvested a record-breaking crop, and it seems we are on track to have another excellent crop in 2012,” said Pat Feldpausch, Corn Marketing Program of Michigan president and a corn farmer from Fowler. “This report shows that farmers understand the increasing global demand for corn and they see the importance of meeting that need.”
In Michigan, this would be the largest acreage planted to corn since 2007 when 2.65 million acres were planted. The record for planted corn acres in Michigan is 3.2 million acres, achieved in 1981. Using the five-year average harvest rate of 88 percent and five-year average yield of 144 bushels per acre, Michigan farmers are on track to harvest a 330 million bushel crop in 2012. If realized, the crop would be Michigan’s second-largest on record.
Nationally, this year’s corn acreage would be the largest since 97.2 million acres planted in 1937. In recent years, the record corn acreage was in the spring of 2007 when U.S. growers planted 93.5 million acres. Assuming the five-year average 92 percent harvest rate holds and the projected trend yield of 164 bushels per acre is achieved, farmers will harvest a record-breaking 14.46 billion bushels in 2012.
“The important thing to remember is that actual planted acreage and yield are dependent on the weather this spring and summer,” Feldpausch said. “So far, we have had ideal conditions but it is still very early and the crop is not even in the ground yet.”
Historically, the planting intentions released in March can change by as much as 15 percent as the spring moves along. Typically, the May 15 plantings intentions report more accurately reflects the final acres planted, which will be released in late June.