Ag Reports: Farmers Intend to Plant More Corn, Less Beans in 2012

American farmers intend to plant nearly 96 million acres of corn this year, according to the USDA Prospective Plantings report released Friday morning.

If realized, it would be the highest acreage planted to corn since 1937.  That number is up four percent from 2011.  Last year not all of the intended acres were planted because of weather challenges and delays.

Illinois is the only major corn producing state where farmers intend to plant fewer corn acres than they did in 2011. The National Agriculture Statistics Service shows intentions for planting corn in Illinois down 100,000 acres from last year.

Acres planted to wheat are also projected to be higher by three percent over last year at nearly 56 million acres.  Soybean numbers came in lower by one percent, with farmer planning to seed just under 74 million acres to soybeans.

The USDA also released its quarterly grain stocks report, which held few surprises.

As of March 1, corn stocks stood at around 6 billion bushels, which is eight percent less than this time last year. That shows the largest ever use of corn during the December-February quarter.

Soybean numbers were in line with expectations at 1.37 billion bushels, up 10 percent over 2011.

Wheat stocks are down 16 percent from 2011 at 1.2 billion bushels.

Markets for corn, soybeans and wheat opened stronger on Friday based on the report.