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U.S. 2013 Soybean Acreage is Estimated at Record High, USDA Says

Soybean farmers in the U.S., the world’s biggest producer, are seen planting a record-high soybean crop, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.

About 77.728 million acres will be sown this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today, after polling farmers this month. Analysts expected 77.811 million acres (31.49 million hectares), according to a Bloomberg survey. The USDA said in March that growers intended to plant 77.126 million, down from a record 77.198 million last year.

The USDA surveyed more than 70,000 farmers by telephone, mail, the Internet and personal interviews during the first two weeks of June, with respondents selected randomly from across the U.S.

Soybean futures for November delivery, after the harvest, dropped 2.2 percent this month through yesterday to $12.7525 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade.

The USDA estimated the number of acres that will be harvested at 76.918 million, up from 76.2 million projected on June 12.

Farmers also were asked by the USDA about use of genetically modified seeds produced by Monsanto Co. and Dupont Co. About 93 percent of the total soybean acreage was planted with gene-engineered seeds this year, unchanged from a year earlier, the government said.

Soybeans are the biggest U.S. crop after corn, with a 2012 value of $43.2 billion, government figures show.

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