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U.S. Corn Acres Seen Increasing 4.5% on Profit Prospects

U.S. corn acreage this year will be the second largest since 1944, as farm profits rise while increasing demand for food and fuel cuts world stockpiles. Soybean acres are forecast to drop while wheat will climb.

About 92.178 million acres (37.3 million hectares) will be planted with corn, up 4.5 percent from 88.192 million last year and exceeding the 91.751 million expected by analysts, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today in a report based on a farmer survey. Futures have doubled in the past year in Chicago as the USDA said adverse weather and rising demand would slash world inventories to the lowest in four years.