Producers expect to harvest 63.1 million acres of all types of hay in 2007, up 4% from 2006 harvested acres, according to the recent USDA Planting Intentions report. About 60.8 million acres of hay were harvested in 2006.
Harvested hay acres are expected to increase from last year throughout the Great Plains and Southeast. Because last year's drought reduced hay production and supplies, harvested area is expected to increase by more than 100,000 acres per state throughout the Great Plains and in Alabama, Missouri and Minnesota. South Dakota is expected to have the largest increase, 700,000 acres more than in 2006. Harvested acres in the Pacific Coast region, Tennessee Valley, the Northeast and much of the Corn Belt are expected to decline or remain unchanged from 2006. Iowa will likely show the largest decrease in harvested area, with a decline of 100,000 acres. California hay growers expect to harvest 50,000 fewer acres.
USDA predicts that corn plantings for all purposes will increase by 15% this year for a total of 90.5 million acres. This would be the largest corn acreage since World War II, when 95.5 million acres were planted for all purposes.
Source: USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service.