ALABAMA FARMERS TO PLANT MORE ACRES IN 2004
Alabama farmers expect to plant more cotton, soybeans and peanuts this year, according to the Alabama Agricultural Statistics Service. "Planting intentions for three of Alabama's four major row crops are up from 2003," said State Statistician Herb Vanderberry. "Cotton, soybean and peanut growers combined will plant a total of 40,000 more acres this year than last year."
Cotton growers expect to plant 550,000 acres in 2004, up 15,000 acres or 5 percent from last year, but down 5 percent from the five-year average. Meanwhile, the statistics service predicts corn acreage will be unchanged at 220,000 acres.
Soybean farmers reported they intend to plant 180,000 acres this year, up 10,000 acres or 6 percent from a year ago. Peanut acreage is expected to top 195,000 acres, up 5,000 acres or 3 percent from 2003.
Nationally, cotton acreage is expected to increase 7 percent to 14.4 million acres. Corn acreage is unchanged at 79 million acres. Farmers report they will plant 3 percent more soybeans or about 75.4 million acres, while peanut acreage should increase 2 percent to 1.4 million acres.
"Actual plantings for the 2004 crop year may vary from these March 1 intentions," said Vanderberry. "Effects of weather during the planting season, availability and cost of production inputs and market prices are all factors in determining which crops and how much acreage Alabama farmers will actually plant.