California prospective plantings

California's March intentions estimates were based on a survey of nearly 2,500 California farmers. The survey was conducted March 1-15, but referred to farmers’ intentions on March 1. Therefore, the impact of weather or market conditions since that date is not reflected in this report.

COTTON: On March 1, California farmers were intending to plant 100 thousand acres to Upland cotton in 2008. If realized, this would 49 percent below the acreage seeded in 2007. In addition, growers were expecting to seed 180 thousand acres to American-Pima cotton in 2008, 31 percent below the 260 thousand acres planted last year. Nationally, all cotton plantings for 2008 are expected to total 9.39 million acres, down 13 percent from last year.

CORN: California farmers were expected to plant 670 thousand acres of corn for all purposes in 2008, an increase of 3 percent from last year and an all-time record high. U.S. corn growers intend to plant 86.0 million acres of corn for all purposes in 2008, down 8 percent from last year when corn planted area was the highest since 1944.

OATS: On March 1, farmers in California had planted or expected to plant 260 thousand acres of oats, 24 percent more than in 2007. U.S. producers planned to seed 3.42 million, down 9 percent from last years planted area.

WHEAT: In California, winter wheat has been seeded on 600 thousand acres, 20 percent above the previous year. Another 170 thousand acres has been seeded to Durum wheat, double the amount planted in 2007. At the U.S. level, 2008's all wheat planted area is expected to total 63.8 million acres, up 6 percent from 2007. Winter wheat seedings are estimated at 46.8 million acres, 4 percent above last year and up slightly from the previous estimate. Durum wheat producers planned to seed 2.63 million acres, up 22 percent from the previous year.

RICE: California farmers intended to seed rice on 549 thousand acres as of March 1. This figure is 3 percent more than the 534 thousand acres seeded in 2007. The expressed intentions were to seed 475 thousand acres to medium grain varieties, 9.00 thousand to long grain and 65.0 thousand to short grain varieties. Nationally, growers intended to seed 2.77 million acres, up 9,000 acres from 2007.

BARLEY: On March 1, California farmers had planted or intended to plant 130 thousand acres to barley, 53 percent above previous year. U.S. growers intended to seed 4.15 million acres for 2008, up 3 percent from last year.

SORGHUM: On March 1, California farmers were expected to plant 38.0 thousand acres to sorghum, 12 percent above the previous year. U.S. sorghum area intended to be planted for all purposes in 2008 is estimated at 7.42 million acres, down 4 percent from 2007.

SUGAR BEETS: California producers had planted or intended to plant 31.6 thousand acres of sugar beets, as of March 1, down 21 percent from the 2007 crop year. Nationally, the area planted to sugar beets for the 2008 crop year is expected to total 1.13 million acres, 11 percent lower than the 2007 planted acreage.

DRY EDIBLE BEANS: On March 1, seeding of dry edible beans was planned for 46.0 thousand acres in California, 22 percent below last year. Nationally, farmers intend to plant 1.40 million acres of dry edible beans in 2008, down 8 percent from last year.

ALL HAY: California producers intended to harvest hay from 1.62 million acres as of March 1, 1 percent above the 1.61 million acres harvested last year. U.S. producers expect to harvest 60.6 million acres of hay in 2008, down 2 percent from 2007.

SWEET POTATOES: California growers intend to plant 14.5 thousand acres in 2008, up 7 percent from 2007. U.S. growers intend to plant 104 thousand acres of sweet potatoes this year, 3 percent above last year.

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