U.S. cotton producers intend to plant 10.5 million acres in 2010, which is 15 percent higher than last year and the first increase in acreage after three straight years of declines. The increase is due to rising cotton futures prices plus lower expected returns for corn and soybeans.

According to USDA’s March 31 Prospective Plantings report, upland cotton acreage is expected to total 10.3 million acres, up 15 percent from last year. Growers intend to increase planted area in all states except Arkansas, Kansas, and Louisiana.

The largest percentage increase in the Mid-South is expected in Tennessee, where growers say they will bump acres by 27 percent, from 300,000 acres to 380,000 acres. Mississippi is expected to increase acres by 11 percent, from 305,000 acres to 340,000 acres and Missouri, by 7 percent, from 272,000 acres to 290,000 acres. Louisiana producers expect to decrease acres from last year by 13 percent, from 230,000 acres to 200,000 acres.

The largest acreage increase is in Texas where producers intend to plant 600,000 acres more acres of upland cotton than in 2009. American-Pima cotton growers intend to increase their plantings by 34 percent from 2009 to 190,000 acres. California producers intend to plant 165,000 acres, up 39 percent from last year.

Corn

Corn growers intend to plant 88.8 million acres of corn for all purposes in 2010, up 3 percent from both last year and 2008. Expected acreage is up in many states due to reduced winter wheat acreage and expectations of improved net returns. Acreage increases of 300,000 or more are expected in Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, and Ohio. The largest decreases are expected in Iowa, down 200,000 acres, and Texas, down 150,000 acres.

Soybeans

Soybean producers intend to plant 78.1 million acres in 2010, up less than 1 percent from last year. If realized, U.S. planted area will be the largest on record. Acreage increases of 100,000 or more are expected in Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The largest decreases are expected in Georgia and North Carolina, both 150,000 acres less than 2009. If intentions are realized, the planted acreage in Kansas, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania will be the largest on record.

Rice

U.S. rice producers intend to plant 3.4 million acres in 2010, a 9 percent increase over 2009. In the Mid-South, expected rice acres increased in all rice-producing states, rising 10 percent in Arkansas, 9 percent in Louisiana, 10 percent in Mississippi and 7 percent in Missouri.

Wheat

All wheat planted area is estimated at 53.8 million acres, down 9 percent from 2009. The 2010 winter wheat planted area, at 37.7 million acres, is 13 percent below last year but up 2 percent from the previous estimate. Of this total, about 28.3 million acres are hard red winter, 6 million acres are soft red winter, and 3.4 million acres are white winter. Area planted to other spring wheat for 2010 is estimated at 13.9 million acres, up 5 percent from 2009. Of this total, about 13.3 million acres are hard red spring wheat. Durum planted area for 2010 is estimated at 2.22 million acres, down 13 percent from the previous year.

e-mail: erobinson@farmpress.com