Acres Grow

Acres Grow
July 9th, 2024 | Nebraska Farm Bureau
Planted acres in Nebraska this year are up 2 percent, or 389,000 acres, compared to 2023 according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Total acres, 19.8 million, is roughly equal to the recent high planted in 2021.

The average acreage since 1993 is 19.1 million. Figure 1 shows the changes in acres for Nebraska crops this year compared to last. Wheat and sunflowers showed the largest declines in acres, both down 13 percent. Dry peas and hay acres had the largest gains at 22 percent and 12 percent, respectively. Planted corn acres are estimated at 10.1 million, up 1.5 percent.

Soybean acres are estimated at 5.3 million, up 1 percent. Together, 200,000 more acres were planted to corn and soybeans combined compared to last year. Nationally, NASS says this year’s corn acres, 91.5 million, is the eighth largest since 1944. Planted acres to soybeans is estimated at 86.1 million acres, up 3 percent.

Last week’s crop progress report showed 80 percent of corn acres and 78 percent of soybean acres in Nebraska were rated in good or excellent condition as of June 30—much higher than last year at the same time. Nationally, 67 percent of the corn crop was in good or excellent condition compared to 51 percent at this time last year. A road trip 10 days ago to western Illinois near St. Louis corroborated the conditions.

Corn in southwestern Iowa, Missouri, and Illinois was already tasseling and looked to be in excellent condition. Soybean conditions were less consistent than corn, with some acres clearly planted later than others, but overall looked good. A stretch between St. Louis and Hannibal was the only spot where crops looked dry and stressed.

Even though there’s a ways to go, crop conditions are much better this year compared to last, and excellent yields could be in the making. 
FIGURE 1. PERCENTAGE CHANGE IN PLANTED ACRES, 2024 VS. 2023Source: USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

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