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Minnesota's crop choices shift in 2024 planting season
Minnesota Ag Connection - 04/01/2024

Minnesota farmers are setting their sights on different crops for the 2024 planting season, with notable changes in acreage according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service – Prospective Plantings report.

The report, reflecting farmers' intentions, signals a strategic adjustment in crop selection influenced by various factors, including market demands and climatic conditions.

Corn, traditionally a staple in Minnesota's agriculture, is seeing a reduction in planted acreage, down 700,000 acres from the previous year, with farmers planning to sow 7.90 million acres. Conversely, soybeans are gaining favor, with an intended planting of 7.50 million acres, marking an increase of 150,000 acres over 2023.

Spring wheat is also on the rise, with producers aiming to cultivate 1.60 million acres, up 300,000 acres from the prior year. Oats planting is experiencing a slight boost, up 15,000 acres to 180,000 acres. Barley planting is projected to decrease by 5,000 acres, settling at 55,000 acres for 2024.

Dry hay and Sugarbeet crops will see varied changes. Dry hay harvesting is expected to expand by 100,000 acres to 1.17 million acres. Sugarbeet plantings, though, will slightly reduce by 2,000 acres, totaling 440,000 acres.

Sunflower acreage, both oil and non-oil types, is facing a significant cut, down 21,500 acres to 37,000 acres, reflecting shifting priorities or possibly economic pressures.

This reshuffling of crop acreage in Minnesota is part of a broader national trend observed in the USDA's Prospective Plantings report, which surveys about 71,800 farm operators across the United States.

Nationwide, corn planted area for all purposes in 2024 is estimated at 90.0 million acres, a decrease from the previous year, while soybean planted area is expected to rise to 86.5 million acres.

Wheat planting, including winter wheat and other spring wheat, shows a mixed trend with an overall decrease in acreage but an increase in certain types like durum wheat.

Farmers' planting decisions are influenced by weather, economic conditions, and production input availability. As the 2024 planting season unfolds, these projected acreages may still undergo adjustments.

The current figures provide a glimpse into the evolving agricultural landscape in Minnesota and the United States, reflecting the agricultural community's response to market, environmental, and economic signals.


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