The following is the March 1, 2009 Prospective Plantings report from the Sacramento, Calif., field office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service.
On March 1, California farmers intended to plant 75,000 acres to Upland cotton in 2009. If realized, this would be 37 percent below the acreage seeded in 2008. In addition, growers were expected to seed 120,000 acres to American-Pima cotton in 2009, 23 percent below the 155,000 acres planted last year.
Nationally, all cotton plantings for 2009 are expected to total 8.81 million acres, down 7 percent from last year and the lowest since 1983.
California farmers were expected to plant 550,000 acres of corn for all purposes in 2009, a decrease of 18 percent from last year. U.S. corn growers intend to plant 85 million acres of corn for all purposes in 2009, down 1 percent from last year.
On March 1, farmers in California had planted or expected to plant 240,000 acres of oats, 4 percent more than in 2008. U.S. growers intend to plant an estimated 3.4 million acres, up 6 percent from last year’s planted area.
In California, winter wheat has been seeded on 620,000 acres, 5 percent below the previous year. Another 150,000 acres has been seeded to Durum wheat, 12 percent below the amount planted in 2008.
At the U.S. level, 2009's all wheat planted area is expected to total 58.6 million acres, down 7 percent from 2008. Winter wheat seedings are estimated at 42.9 million acres, 7 percent below last year, but up 2 percent from the previous estimate. Durum wheat producers planned to seed 2.45 million acres, down 10 percent from the previous year.
California farmers intended to seed rice on 477,000 acres as of March 1. This figure is 8 percent below the 519,000 acres seeded in 2008. The expressed intentions were to seed 430,000 acres to medium grain varieties, 7,000 to long grain and 40,000 to short grain varieties. Nationally, growers intended to seed 3.18 million acres, up 6 percent from 2008.
On March 1, California farmers had planted or intended to plant 60,000 acres to barley, 33 percent below the previous year. U.S. growers intended to seed 3.95 million acres for 2009, down 7 percent from last year.
• Sugar beets
California producers had planted or intended to plant 25,000 acres of sugar beets, as of March 1, down 4 percent from the 2008 crop year. Nationally, the area planted to sugar beets for the 2009 crop year is expected to total 1.15 million acres, 6 percent higher than the 2008 planted acreage.
• Dry edible beans
On March 1, seeding of dry edible beans was planned for 60,000 acres in California, 15 percent above last year. Nationally, farmers intend to plant 1.55 million acres of dry edible beans in 2009, up 3 percent from last year.
• All hay
California producers intended to harvest hay from 1.47 million acres as of March 1, down 3 percent from the 1.52 million acres harvested last year. U.S. producers expect to harvest 60.3 million acres of hay in 2009, up slightly from 2008.
• Sweet potatoes
California growers intended to plant 16,500 acres in 2009, up 14 percent from 2008. U.S. growers intend to plant 102 thousand acres of sweet potatoes this year, down 1 percent from last year.