The spring and early summer of 2013 have been cooler and wetter than normal. Small-grain crops matured slower than normal, pushing back harvest dates and seeding of soybeans. Precipitation has been frequent and in some areas, at times excessive. Soil moisture conditions are adequate to surplus throughout Delaware and Maryland.
According to the 2013 Acreage Report released June 28 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, farmers have decreased planted acreage of corn and soybeans from 2012 levels, while small-grain acreage is up from 2012 in both Delaware and Maryland.
Delaware farmers indicate they have planted 180,000 acres of corn this spring, down 5,000 acres from 2012. A total of 174,000 acres are expected to be harvested for grain with the remaining acres' harvest for silage or other uses. Farmers indicate they will also plant 160,000 acres of soybeans, down 6 percent from last year.
Winter wheat planted is set at 85,000 acres and barley planted at 40,000 acres, the highest barley planted acreage since 1997, when barley planted was also 40,000 acres. Farmers expect to harvest 82,000 acres of winter wheat and 36,000 acres of barley in 2013. Summer potato farmers will harvest 1,400 acres, down 13 percent from last year. Hay will be cut from an estimated 6,000 acres of alfalfa and 10,000 acres of other types of hay.
In the United States, corn planted area for all purposes in 2013 is estimated at 97.4 million acres, up slightly from last year. This represents the highest planted acreage in the United States since 1936, when an estimated 102 million acres were planted. Growers expect to harvest 89.1 million acres for grain, up 2 percent from last year.
Soybean planted area for 2013 is estimated at a record-high 77.7 million acres, up 1 percent from last year. Area for harvest, at 76.9 million acres, is up 1 percent from 2012 and will be a record high, if realized.