CHICAGO, March 14 (Reuters) – U.S. farmers will expand their plantings of soybeans by 6.5 percent in 2017 while scaling back on corn and wheat, according to a survey of growers released on Tuesday by Illinois-based research and brokerage firm Allendale Inc.
Allendale’s survey of farmers in 33 U.S. states said plantings of soybeans would increase to 88.825 million acres, from 83.433 million in 2016, with corn acreage dipping to 90.018 million from 94.004 million last year.
If realized, Allendale’s soybean acreage would be the highest on record, while corn plantings would be down about four percent from last year.
The firm’s figures are very similar to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s initial plantings forecasts last month of 88 million acres for soybeans and 90 million acres for corn.
Allendale’s survey projected 2017 all-wheat plantings at 45.967 million acres, down from 50.154 million in 2016 and close to the USDA’s February forecast of 46 million.
The all-wheat figure combines seedings of winter wheat, durum wheat and spring wheat other than durum. Allendale estimated winter wheat plantings at 32.677 million acres, durum wheat at 2.045 million acres and other spring wheat at 11.245 million acres.
The USDA in January estimated winter wheat plantings for 2017 at 32.383 million acres.
Based on its acreage estimates and trend-line yields, Allendale said its figures implied U.S. 2017 crop production at 13.879 billion bushels of corn, 4.141 billion bu. of soybeans and 1.856 billion bu. of wheat.
USDA will release its annual prospective plantings report, based on surveys of tens of thousands of farmers, on March 31.