Ethanol and export demand could lead to the largest corn acreage planted in more than 60 years.

According to the government’s “Prospective Plantings” report released March 30, corn growers intend to plant 90.5 million acres of corn this year — 12.1 million acres, or 15 percent more, than in 2006.

If realized, this would be the largest corn acreage since 1944 when 95.5 million acres were planted.

According to the report, the increase in corn acreage is partially offset by lower expected acreage of soybeans in the Corn Belt and Great Plains and fewer expected acres of cotton and rice in the Delta and Southeast.

Soybean growers intend to plant 67.1 million acres this year. That’s down 8.4 million acres, or 11 percent, from last year. If realized, it would be the lowest soybean acreage planted since 1996.

Cotton plantings are expected to be down 20 percent versus last year.

To access the full report, follow this link.

Source: USDA