USDA sees farmers boosting corn, cutting soy acreage

Chicago | Reuters — The U.S. Agriculture Department on Friday forecast that U.S. farmers will raise corn plantings and cut back on soybean acreage in the 2016-17 marketing year.

USDA’s Office of the Chief Economist estimated that farmers would seed 90.5 million acres of corn during the spring, 2.1 million more than they did in 2015-16. Soybean acreage was seen falling to 82 million from 83.2 million.

For production, USDA estimated a 3.785 billion-bushel soybean crop and a 13.9 billion-bushel corn crop.

The government also forecast all wheat acreage of 53 million and a crop of 2.06 billion bushels.

The forecasts are developed by consensus within the USDA on a long-term scenario for the agricultural sector for the next decade. USDA will release its complete report on projections for the next 10 years in February.

Reporting for Reuters by Mark Weinraub in Chicago.

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