April 16, 2021

Corn Belt increasing soybean acres

WASHINGTON — “I” state farmers said they intend to increase soybean acres this year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s prospective plantings estimates released March 31.


Illinois growers intend to plant 10.7 million acres of soybeans, 4% above the 10.3 million level in 2020. If realized, this would be just below the record 10.8 million acres planted in 2018.

Indiana soybean acres are expected to increase from 5.7 million acres last year to 5.8 million in 2021.

USDA also stated Iowa will increase its soybean acres by 4% from 9.4 million in 2020 to 9.8 million this year.


Illinois corn growers intend to plant 10.9 million acres in 2021, down 4% from last year’s 11.3 million acres.

Indiana is expected to have 4% less corn than the previous year, dropping from 5.4 million in 2020 to 5.2 million this year.

The nation’s corn king — Iowa — intends to plant 13.2 million acres, 3% lower than last year’s 13.6 million.

Winter Wheat

The USDA reported 700,000 planted acres of winter wheat in Illinois, a 23% hike over last year’s 570,000.

Indiana will see a 27% increase in winter wheat acres, jumping from 300,000 to 380,000 acres in 2021.


Farmers intend to plant 91.1 million acres of corn for all purposes in 2021, up less than 1%, at 325,000 acres, from last year.

Corn planted acreage for 2021 is expected to be up or unchanged from 2020 in 24 of the 48 estimating states. Record high acreage is expected in Idaho and Oregon. Record low acreage is expected in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Corn acreage increases from last year of 100,000 or more are expected Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee and Wisconsin

Soybeans growers intend to plant 87.6 million acres in 2021, up 5% from last year’s 83.084 million.

Compared with last year, U.S. soybean planted acreage intentions are up or unchanged in 23 of the 29 estimating states. Increases of 250,000 acres or more are anticipated in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. If realized, the planted area in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Wisconsin will be the largest on record.

The 2021 winter wheat planted area is estimated at 33.1 million acres, a 9% increase from last year’s 30.415 million and up 3% from the previous estimate.

Of the total acreage, about 23.2 million acres are hard red winter, 6.42 million acres are soft red winter and 3.48 million acres are white winter. Record low planted acreage is estimated in Nebraska and Utah.


The acreage estimates in this report are based primarily on surveys conducted during the first two weeks of March. The March Agricultural Survey is a probability survey that includes a sample of approximately 78,900 farm operators selected from a list of producers that ensures all operations in the United States have a chance to be selected.

Data from operators was collected by mail, internet, telephone, or personal interview to obtain information on crop acreage intentions for the 2021 crop year.

These estimates are intended to reflect grower intentions as of the survey period. New acreage estimates will be made based on surveys conducted in June when crop acreages have been established or planting intentions are firm. These new estimates will be published in the acreage report on June 30.

Winter wheat is an exception. Since winter wheat was seeded prior to the March survey, any changes in estimates in this report are considered revisions. The estimate of the harvested acreage of winter wheat will be published on May 12 along with the first production forecast of the crop year.

Tom Doran

Field Editor