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US: Corn acres expected to shrink 4 percent

March 31, 2014

OMAHA, Nebraska (AP) — The number of acres (hectares) devoted to corn is expected to shrink about 4 percent this year as farmers devote more of their land to soybeans.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released its annual forecast Monday of what farmers plan to plant.

The USDA says it expects 91.7 million acres (37.1 million hectares) of corn to be planted this year, down from 95.37 million acres (38.6 million hectares) last year.

The number of acres devoted to soybeans is expected to grow about 6 percent to 81.5 million acres (33 million hectares) from last year’s 76.5 million acres (31 million hectares).

Iowa farmer Ray Gaesser says farmers are responding to predictions for tight soybean supplies and relatively high crop prices.

Gaesser, who serves as president of the American Soybean Association, says demand for soybeans is clearly high going into this year.

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