U.S. farmers planning for record soy acres in 2015, corn to dip

CHICAGO (Reuters) — U.S. farmers plan to seed 87.25 million acres of soybeans this spring, the most on record, while paring corn acreage to 88.34 million.

The soybean figure from a producer survey released by Farm Futures magazine is up 4.2 percent from the 83.7 million acres seeded last year. The survey’s corn figure is down 2.5 percent from the 90.6 million acres seeded last year and would represent the smallest corn acreage since 2010.

“Growers are interested in preserving cash, with farmers in most areas of the country ready to jump on the soybean bandwagon,” said Bryce Knorr, Farm Futures market analyst.

“This was especially true down into the Delta, where cotton should lose acres.”

The magazine’s survey of 1,297 farmers in 41 states pegged 2015 cotton seeding at 9.4 million acres, down 15 percent from last year.

The survey projected plantings of spring wheat (other than durum) at 13.4 million acres, up from 13.025 million last year, and durum wheat at 1.6 million acres, up from 1.4 million last year. Prices for durum have risen because of poor-quality U.S. and Canadian harvests last year.

Farm Futures put total wheat acres at 55.6 million, down 2.1 percent from last year. The survey put winter wheat seeding at 40.6 million acres, which is higher than the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Jan. 12 forecast of 40.5 million but down from 42.4 million acres planted last year.

Sorghum is seen rising 18 percent to 8.4 million acres, reflecting strong demand for the feed grain in China.

The USDA is scheduled to release its 2015 planting intentions report March 31, based on a survey of more than 80,000 producers.

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