Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. farmers will plant 77.5 million acres with soybeans this year, up 0.4 percent from 2012, as growers seek to take advantage of prices driven higher by drought, according to Joe Glauber, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s chief economist.
The average estimate of 18 analysts in a Bloomberg News survey was for 78.111 million acres.
The plantings may produce a record crop of 3.405 billion bushels, up 13 percent from 2012, Glauber said today at the USDA’s annual outlook forum in Arlington, Virginia. The bigger crop will drive prices down 27 percent from 2012, with a bushel averaging $10.50 for the year, according to the USDA.
Futures reached a record $17.89 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade in September. The May contract fell 0.4 percent to $14.625 at 8:53 a.m. in Chicago.
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