WASHINGTON – US farmers intend to boost 2015 soybean planted area by 1 percent and to a record high but reduce corn plantings by 2 percent, the US Department of Agriculture said in its March 31 Prospective Plantings report.

Growers intend to plant a record high 84,635,000 acres of soybeans in 2015, up 1 percent from 83,701,000 acres in 2014 but 1 percent below the average trade estimate of 85.87 million acres.

“Compared with last year, planted acreage intentions are up or unchanged in 21 of the 31 major producing states,” the USDA said. “Increases of 200,000 acres or more are anticipated in Arkansas, Iowa and Ohio. The largest declines are expected in Kansas and Nebraska.”

Farmers indicated they intend to plant 89,199,000 acres of corn in 2015, down 2 percent from 90,597,000 acres in 2014 and down 6 percent from 2013 but above average trade expectations of 88.68 million acres.

“If realized, this will be the lowest planted acreage in the United States since 2010,” the USDA said. “The reduction in planted acres is mainly due to the expectation of lower prices and returns in 2015.”

Planted area for corn is expected to be down across most of the Corn Belt except for Minnesota and Wisconsin, which are expecting increases, and Nebraska, which is unchanged.