WASHINGTON — U.S. farmers intend to plant 53.827 million acres of wheat for harvest in 2010, down 9% from 2009, including 37.698 million acres of winter wheat, down 13%, 2.223 million acres of durum, down 13%, and 13.906 million acres of spring wheat other than durum, up 5%, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its annual Prospective Plantings report. Intended area for corn was 88.798 million acres, up 3% from both 2009 and 2008, and for soybeans was 78.098 million acres, up 1% from 2009 and the largest on record if realized.

The U.S.D.A. other spring wheat number was above analysts’ pre-report trade expectations that averaged 13.56 million acres, but the U.S.D.A. durum number was below the average of 2.47 million acres. The U.S.D.A. corn estimate was below trade expectations that averaged 88.94 million acres, while the soybean number was below the average of 78.55 million acres.

The winter wheat seeded area was up 2% from the January Winter Wheat Seedings report. Of the total, about 28.3 million acres are hard red winter, 6 million acres are soft red winter and 3.4 million acres are white winter, the U.S.D.A. said.

“This is the lowest United States (winter wheat) total since 1970 and record lows are estimated for Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska and Ohio,” the U.S.D.A. said.
Prospective spring wheat seeded area of 13.906 million acres included about 13.3 million acres of hard red spring, the U.S.D.A. said.

“Expected (corn) acreage is up in many states due to reduced winter wheat acreage and expectations of improved net returns,” the U.S.D.A. said. “Acreage increases of 300,000 or more are expected in Illinois, Kansas, Missouri and Ohio. The largest decreases are expected in Iowa, down 200,000 acres, and Texas, down 150,000 acres.

“Compared with last year, increases in (soybean) planted area are expected across the Great Plains and most of the Corn Belt. Planted area is expected to decline from last year or remain the same across the Delta and Southeastern states. If intentions are realized, the planted acreage in Kansas, North Dakota and Pennsylvania will be the largest on record. The largest decreases are expected in Georgia and North Carolina, both 150,000 acres less than 2009.”

Intended area planted to rice in 2010 was estimated at 3.411 million acres, up 9% from 3.135 million acres in 2009.

“Acreage in all rice-producing states is expected to increase from the previous year, mainly due to the higher price of rice compared to other commodities such as corn and soybeans,” U.S.D.A. said.
Planting intentions for oats totaled 3.364 million acres, down 1% from last year and the second lowest on record if realized, the U.S.D.A. said.

Area planted to barley was projected at 3.273 million acres, down 8% from 2009 and the lowest on record if realized, the U.S.D.A. said.

Peanut planted area was expected to total 1.201 million acres, up 8% from 2009. Peanut area in the Southwest was expected to lose acres to cotton, the U.S.D.A. said, while increased plantings were expected in the Southeast because of higher contracted peanut prices.

Sugar beet planting intentions were 1,174,200 acres, down 1% from 2009. Smaller area was expected in California, Colorado (down 15%), Minnesota (down 4%) and Nebraska (down 13%), but increases of 1% were expected in North Dakota, 3% in Idaho and 7% in Michigan. California planted area was expected to drop for the six consecutive year and would be record low if realized, the U.S.D.A. said.