WASHINGTON — The US Department of Agriculture on Nov. 7 projected area planted to soybeans to expand in 2024, but wheat and corn planting areas were forecast to decline. The forecasts were contained in early-release tables from the USDA Agricultural Projections to 2033 report, which will be issued in February 2024.
The USDA forecast area planted to all wheat for harvest in 2024 at 48 million acres, down 1.2 million acres from 49.6 million acres in 2023. The 2024 forecast compared with 46.4 million acres as the recent five-year average planted area. The USDA’s first all-wheat planted area estimate was 77.44 million acres in 1919. Planted area has been smaller than 50 million acres since 2016. The record-high all-wheat planted area was 88.3 million acres in 1981. The record-low all-wheat planted area was 44.45 million acres in 2020.
The USDA projected area planted to corn in 2024 at 91 million acres, down 3.9 million acres, or 4%, from 94.9 million acres in 2023. The corn area forecast would be the smallest since 88.6 million acres in 2022 and compared with the recent high planted area of 97.3 million acres in 2012 and the recent five-year average planted area at 91.4 million acres. The USDA began to estimate corn planted area in 1926. The record high area was 113 million acres in 1932. The record low area of 60.2 million acres was planted in 1983.
The USDA forecast soybean planted area in 2024 at 87 million acres, up 3.4 million acres, or 4%, from 83.6 million acres in 2023. The projection for 2024 compared with the recent five-year average planted area at 83.5 million acres. The record-high soybean area at 90.2 million acres was planted in 2017.
The USDA projected area planted to rice in 2024 at 2.8 million acres, down 97,000 acres, or 3%, from 2.9 million acres in 2023. The 2024 forecast compared with 2.6 million acres as the recent five-year average.
The USDA projected the area planted to oats for harvest in 2024 at 2.6 million acres, the same as in 2023, 2022 and 2021. That compared with the recent high acreage of 3.1 million acres in 2015 and compared with the recent five-year average at 2.7 million acres.