Prospective Corn Acres in 2012: Largest Ever for Iowa

April 4, 2012

By Roger Elmore, Department of Agronomy

The USDA-NASS prospective corn plantings reports released last week by the are just that, prospective. The report released on March 30 indicates greater planting intentions than ever before in Iowa. If realized, we'll have 14.6 million acres. Prospective nation-wide corn plantings, 95.864 million acres, if realized is the most the U.S. has had since 1937. 

These numbers of course may change between now and planting. Historically, although the U.S. numbers shift by up to a 15 percent overestimate - as they did in the drought year of 1983, they typically range within 5 percent of the final estimates (see figure). Recently though the prospective plantings estimates have matched final numbers well. The ten year average is less than 1 percent range around the final acreage reported for each year.

Stay-tuned as corn growers adjust to planting conditions and markets as we progress through the planting season. See the ICM news for more information on the 'Best corn planting dates for Iowa.'

Roger Elmore is a professor of agronomy with research and extension responsibilities in corn production. He can be contacted by email at or (515) 294-6655.

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