US farmers to plant largest crop since 1984

Harvest will include biggest corn crop since World War II

U.S. farmers will plant the largest collective corn, soybean and wheat crop since 1984 in 2012, according to reports. The 226.9 million acres sown will be a 2.5 percent overall increase that includes the largest corn crop since World War II.

Some crop prices reached record high averages in 2011 and sent net farm income up 28 percent to $100.9 billion, said the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This pushed the value of farmland to $2,350 an acre. “There is unlikely to be any ground that won’t be planted this year,” said Todd Wachtel, an Illinois farmer who plans to expand his corn fields by 21 percent. “Farmers know that they have to plant more when prices are high because they may not last.”

Corn will be planted on 94.329 million acres of land, up 2.6 percent from 2011 and the most since 1944. Soybean fields may expand 0.4 percent to 75.309 million acres, the fifth-most ever. Wheat in the season that begins June 1 will reach a three-year high of 57.233 million acres, up 5.2 percent.