United States farmers have planted the biggest crop in thirteen years according to a report released by the US Department of Agriculture which estimated the area sown to the eight major field crops in 2011 at 103.3 million hectares.
That was an increase of 4.05 million ha from last season and the biggest area planted since 1998-99 when 103.5 million ha was sown. But it is a far cry from the 120.9 million ha planted in 1981-82.
The USDA said the rise in plantings this season was in response to relatively high wheat prices which followed the production shortfall in Russia last August, reduced corn yields and strong global demand for soy-beans and cotton.
The eight major field crops grown in the US are wheat, corn, soy-beans, sorghum, barley, oats, rice and cotton.
Futures prices for all the major crops have skyrocketed during the past four or five months, promising the best outlook for the world’s grain growers since 2008.
The USDA report forecasts a 23.1 million ha wheat crop this season, well up on the 21.7 million ha grown last year but lower than the 24 million ha planted in 2009-10.
Regarding corn the report says the area planted this year is 37.3 million ha, a rise of 1.6 million ha from the 35.7 million ha grown last season.