An informal poll of Mid-Atlantic Master Farmers on Monday morning confirmed rumors. Farmers can’t stand waiting any longer during this record-warmth spring. They’re pulling corn planters into their fields this week.
American Agriculturist asked farmers attending the Mid-Atlantic Master Farmer Awards Luncheon when corn planters would be running on their farms. Some 25% of all those raising their hands said it would be happening this week. Another 37% indicated their corn planters would be running within the next two weeks. Only 37% indicated that their planters would stick to their normal planting schedule.
How much of what will be planted?
You’ve already seen USDA’s first national prospective plantings report for 2012 – more corn and fewer soybean acres. Farmers are expected to plant 97.2 million acres of corn – the largest since 1937. Some of that acreage will be taken away from soybeans – down slightly (1%) from 2011.
But the national numbers don’t necessarily ring true with the Northeast. Soybean acreage in New York, for instance, is expected to hit a new record. So here’s a quick look at USDA’s March planting intentions report for states reported in the Northeast based on 2011 acreages:
- Corn: Connecticut up 4%; Delaware unchanged; Maine unchanged; Maryland up 2%; Massachusetts unchanged; New Hampshire unchanged; New Jersey up 6%; New York up 6%; Pennsylvania up 1%; and Vermont up 2%. New York farmers plan the biggest actual corn acreage increase – 70,000 acres.
- Soybeans: Delaware up 3%; Maryland up 4%; New Jersey up 2%; New York up 4%; and Pennsylvania is unchanged.
- Wheat: Delaware up 6%; Maryland up 4%; New Jersey up 14%; New York up 19%; and Pennsylvania down 11%.
- Barley: Delaware up 9%; Maine is unchanged; Maryland up 10%; and Pennsylvania down 8%.
- Hay harvest acreage: Connecticut is unchanged; Delaware is unchanged; Maine down 5%; Maryland down 2%; Massachusetts down 5%; New Hampshire up 4%; New Jersey down 5%; New York down 3%; and Pennsylvania down 3%.
What about tobacco?
Planting intentions for tobacco are generally down slightly from last year for the United States and Pennsylvania. Class 3A light air-cured type 31 burley, for instance, is reported to be down 12% in Pennsylvania. Type 32 (southern Maryland air-cured) acreage in Pennsylvania is forecasted to be down 3% from 2011.
However, Class 4, cigar filler acreage will be up 18% in the Keystone State. Class 5, cigar binder Type 51 Connecticut Valley Broadleaf is expected to be up 19% in Connecticut and down 7% in Massachusetts.