NASS Says 2009 Wheat Acres Down 5 Percent from 2008

July 2, 2009 Bookmark and Share

A plantings report issued by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) this week showed all wheat area is estimated to be down 5 percent in 2009 from 2008.

NASS acreage estimates are based on surveys conducted during the first two weeks of June on approximately 11,000 segments of land and from a sample of approximately 73,500 U.S. farm operators.

The report showed that 2009 winter wheat planted area, at 43.4 million acres, is 6 percent below last year but up 1 percent from the previous estimate. Of this total, about 31.4 million acres are hard red winter (HRW), 8.4 million acres are soft red winter (SRW) and 3.6 million acres are white winter.

Area planted to other spring wheat for 2009 is estimated at 13.8 million acres, down 3 percent from 2008.  Of this total, about 13.1 million acres are hard red spring (HRS). Durum planted area for 2009 is estimated at 2.56 million acres, down 6 percent.

Total U.S. crop area is down 1.2 percent from last year to 320.9 million acres planted in principal crops.

Soybean acres hit a record high of 77.5 million, up 1.8 million acres (2.3 percent) from last year and up 1.5 million acres, or almost 2 percent, from March estimates.

Corn acres were also up, hitting an estimated 87 million acres in 2009, up 1 million acres from last year. That is the second-largest corn acreage in more than 60 years, behind 2007.

As part of the June survey, NASS also asked randomly selected growers if they are planting biotech varieties of corn, soybeans or upland cotton seed. Responses indicate that 85 percent of all corn planted acres, 87 percent of all soybean planted acres and 93 percent of all upland cotton planted acres are in biotech varieties. The Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) reports that in 2008, 309 million acres of biotech crops were planted in 25 countries by 13.3 million farmers.

More on U.S. biotech utilization is at

The full NASS report is available at