The National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) says the prospective plantings report released by USDA March 30 indicates corn farmers are responding to market demands by intending to plant 90.5 million acres in 2007. Last year, corn growers planted 78.6 million acres.

“Strong demand for corn in all market sectors – exports, livestock and ethanol – has put corn in the spotlight as producers get planting under way,” says Ken McCauley, NCGA president. “We’re confident corn farmers will produce another big crop given good weather.”

These intentions would indicate 83.5 harvested acres. If average trend yields of 152 bu./acre are realized, corn producers would be on track to produce 12.692 billion bushels in 2007, the largest crop on record.

If corn farmers carry through on these intentions, it will be the largest corn acreage since 1944, when producers planted 95.5 million acres. The June 29 report will provide a clearer view of 2007 corn acreage.

Iowa farmers intend to plant 13.9 million corn acres, up from 12.6 million acres in 2006. If realized, Iowa farmers will plant the most corn in the country.

Illinois farmers intend to plant a record 12.9 million acres this spring, up 1.6 million acres from 2006. Minnesota and North Dakota are the other Corn Belt states with record planting intentions this spring.

Several southern states are playing a big role in the increased acreage. Arkansas growers are expected to plant 560,000 acres in 2007, up from 190,000 in 2006. Louisiana farmers intend to plant 700,000 acres, up from 300,000 in 2006. Mississippi corn producers expect to plant 950,000 acres, up from 340,000 acres last year.