Corn growers intend to plant 85 million acres of corn for all purposes this spring, down 1 percent from last year, according to this week’s Prospective Plantings report from USDA.

Lower corn prices and unstable input costs are discouraging some growers from planting corn, the report notes. If farmers stick to those plans, this will be the second consecutive year-to-year decrease in corn acreage but also the third-largest acreage since 1949, behind 2007 and 2008.

Also, while planting intentions are down overall, producers in the 10 biggest corn-producing states indicate acreage will be up slightly from last year. Soybean plantings, meanwhile, will increase slightly from last year and could set a new record for planted acreage, according to the report. USDA also released a new Grain Stocks report indicating corn stocks on March 1, were up 1 percent over 2008, soybean stocks down 9 percent and wheat stocks up 46 percent from a year ago.

Click here to listen to an AgriTalk radio interview with Doane senior economist Rich Pottorff, discussing the Prospective Plantings report.

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