Bill Cox, Section of Crop and Soil Sciences, Cornell University
Corn acreage for grain in NY, as of June 1, is expected to total 660,000 acres in 2014, a decrease of about 4% from 2013 (690,000 acres). Corn acreage for silage production in NY, as of June 1, is expected to total 500,000 acres in 2014, down about 2% from 2013 (510,000 acres). Only 58% of the corn in NY was planted by June 1, however, so grain acreage could decrease further because of maturity concerns for June-planted corn, especially on dairy farms. Likewise, the price of grain corn has dropped significantly since June 1, providing more incentive for dairy farmers to switch from grain to silage. Overall, total corn acreage in NY is projected to be 1,160,000 acres in 2014, down by 3.3% (1,200,000 acres in 2013. A further update on the corn acreage will be provided on August 11th by USDA, based on the August 1 survey. Total corn acreage in NY could decrease further because the first half of June was wet in the Southern Tier region of NY, which may have prevented planting some of the remaining 42%, intended acreage.
Wheat acreage in NY in 2014 declined by 20,000 acres or 17% (95,000 acres) compared to 2013 (115,000 acres). This was somewhat surprising because about 40,000 soybean acres were declared as Prevented Planting in NY in 2013, and it was assumed that a significant number of those acres would be planted to wheat. The projected wheat yield in NY as of July 1 was projected to be 66 bushels/acre, down 2 bushels/acre from the record yields in 2013 (68 bushels/acre). Preliminary testimonies by NY wheat producers indicate average yields so far in 2014 as of July 24th so final yield estimates may decrease a bit.
The 2013 June report estimated 320,000 acres of soybeans were expected to be planted in NY but the wet June conditions prevented many acres from being planted; thereby reducing harvested soybean acreage to 278,000 acres. Soybean acreage in NY in 2014, as of June 1, was expected to increase to 397,000 acres, a stunning 43% increase from the previous year. Only 66% of the intended soybean acreage was planted as of June 15, however, so wet conditions in some regions of NY during the first half of June may have prevented some of these intended acres from being planted in 2014. Soybeans can be successfully planted in NY until about June 25th in the Finger Lakes Region and western NY, and 93% of the crop was reported to be planted as of June 29th. Consequently, it is expected that at least 370,000 of these intended acres were planted, thereby eclipsing the previous soybean acreage record in NY of 315,000 acres in 2012. A further update on soybean acreage will be provided on August 11th by USDA, based on the August 1 survey. If 370,000 acres of soybeans were planted in NY in 2014, this would represent an 8.25 fold increase in soybean acreage over the last 25 years (40,000 acres planted in 1990). Truly, soybean expansion in NY is an unheralded success story of NY agriculture.