Where's the land?

Corn, wheat and cotton plantings are anticipated to go up, and soybeans down just a smidgen.  That's not too surprising given how high prices are.

But where's the land coming from?  According to USDA, the net increase for these (the four largest cash crops besides hay) will be about 10 million acres.  That's nearly one third the size of North Carolina.  Notice in the graph that increases for one crop are typically offset by losses in another.  Most hay land isn't going to be suitable for these crops.

Two wild guesses:

1) Prospective plantings are a little too optimistic
2) The Conservation Reserve Program is going to have a hard time enrolling much land in its signups this year.

But I don't think these two things can account for 10 million acres.


  1. Michael,

    Good question.

    A whole lot of marginal rangelands/pasture/fallow fields being planted in row crops? Mainly out west? A switch from rice to corn/soybeans? A colleague in Kansas anecdotally related that most of the reported increase is in the western Corn Belt-from Kansas to North Dakota. He also related that total acres planted was still lower than acreage in 2007. I would have to look that up to be sure.

    I am still waiting for that site to post the audio of your AMS presentation. The slides look fascinating.

    Hope all is well with you.

    Also, hope my comments don't get spammed out again!

    Best regards,


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Renewable energy not as costly as some think

Answering Matthew Kahn's questions about climate adaptation

Nonlinear Temperature Effects Indicate Severe Damages to U.S. Crop Yields Under Climate Change