MN farmers expected to plant more cornby Mark Steil, Minnesota Public Radio
WORTHINGTON, Minn. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts Minnesota farmers will plant 7 percent more corn this year, but soybean and wheat acres will decline.
The drop will be especially sharp for wheat; here, the number of acres planted this spring is expected to decline 8 percent. Brandon Marshall with Northstar Commodity said right now corn is much more profitable than wheat.
"The farms obviously look at spring wheat, they look at the corn, and they see the profit margins," said Marshall. "They say at this point they would rather plant the corn. The demand is obviously a little better worldwide."
Minnesota's wheat crop last year was valued at a little more than $500 million. Corn accounted for $7 billion.
Corn planting will also increase across the U.S. The USDA expects corn acreage nationwide will increase 4 percent compared to last year.
There's also worry that ongoing drought conditions in the Midwest could lead to a smaller-than-expected harvest this fall.