Iowa's Agricultural Situation: Analysts expect a shift from soybeans to corn and more biotech plantings
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As Iowa farmers decide on what to plant this year, market prices are quick to respond to any news about supply side and international trade developments. The March 28 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Prospective Plantings report confirmed analysts’ expectations of an overall shift from soybeans into corn compared to last year. According to the report, U.S. growers plan to sow 79 million acres of corn in 2002, up 4 percent from 2001 but only slightly above the fiveyear average. Most of the growing regions reported an increase in the expected corn acreage except for a few states with concerns about dry conditions. However, unlike last year’s wet planting season, so far this year’s weather appears to be favorable to corn growers. U.S. soybean producers are projected to plant 73 million acres, down 2 percent from the previous year but on a par with the five-year average. The markets largely anticipated the results of the report and, as expected, responded with lower corn and higher soybean prices. However, in subsequent trading days, corn prices have rebounded somewhat with the news of steady exports and potential delays in planting in some midwestern states, while soybean prices have slipped because of imminent South American supply.