BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Farmers will plant eight percent more corn acres than last year, says the March 31 Prospective Planting report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Corn planted for all purposes in 2020 is estimated at 97 million acres, which is an increase of 7.29 million acres from 2019’s plantings. The five-year national average for planted corn acres is 90.15 million acres.
This report shows Illinois farmers intend to plant 11.3 million acres of corn, just over the five-year average of 11.2 million acres and eight percent above 2019’s final planted area. In 2019,1.15 million acres of corn was prevented from planting in Illinois due to excess moisture.
Demand for these corn acres and the resulting crop is considerably down recently. COVID-19 quarantine precautions have American drivers dramatically reducing their fuel and ethanol consumption. Also, the plunge in crude oil prices has made ethanol less competitive. Although export demand has lagged USDA projections, U.S. grain export infrastructure remains fully operational and export markets may take up some of the lost ethanol demand. The market dynamics have changed considerably since surveys were collected for analysis. In a post COVID-19 economy, planting intentions could shift.
— Illinois Corn Growers Association
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