Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Here’s What U.S. Farmers Will Plant More (and Less) of in 2017

Updated on

In Kansas, they’re swapping wheat for soybeans. In North Dakota, it’s corn that farmers are ditching in favor of the oilseed.

Those are some of the insights from the U.S. Department of Agriculture annual Prospective Plantings report published Friday. The agency estimates soybean acreage will increase 7.3 percent to a record 89.5 million acres this year. Corn and wheat plantings, meanwhile, are seen lower. Here’s a breakdown of data on the three biggest crops:


  • Farmers switching to soy are being swayed by the better prospects for turning a profit on the crop compared with corn and wheat.


  • While higher year-on-year, the USDA’s corn acreage projection trailed estimates.


  • The total wheat acreage for 2017 is seen falling to the lowest since USDA data began in 1919.

(In an earlier version of this story, the first paragraph was corrected to show some Kansas farmers are switching to soybeans from wheat, not corn.)

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