As of March 1, Colorado growers intend to plant 1.09 million acres of corn for all purposes in 2015, down 60,000 acres and five
percent below last year’s plantings, according to the Mountain Regional Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service,
USDA. Sorghum intentions total 375,000 acres, up 30,000 acres from plantings last year. The area expected to be seeded to oats, at
45,000 acres, is unchanged from a year ago. Most of the oat acreage in Colorado is harvested for hay. Growers intend to plant 65,000
acres of barley in 2015, up 8,000 acres from last year’s actual plantings. All wheat acreage is expected to total 2.52 million acres for
2015. Winter wheat seedings last fall for harvest in 2015 are estimated at 2.50 million acres, down 250,000 acres from the 2014 crop.
Growers intend to seed 15,000 acres of spring wheat this year, up 6,000 acres from last year. Hay producers in the State intend to
harvest 1.45 million acres this year. This is up 110,000 acres from the acreage cut for hay in 2014. Growers intend to plant 54,000
acres of sunflowers this year, up 9,500 acres from what they planted in 2014. The acreage of oil varieties is expected to total 40,000
acres, up 5,000 acres from last year’s plantings. The area for non-oil varieties is expected to be up 4,500 acres to 14,000 acres this
year. The area planted to sugarbeets is expected to be up 2,300 acres from last year’s actual plantings to 31,700 acres. Dry edible
bean acreage is expected to total 69,000 acres, up 50 percent from the 46,000 acres planted in 2014. Mountain snowpack is currently
74 percent of average, statewide. Final acreages actually planted for several crops will be determined by irrigation water prospects,
soil moisture levels at planting time, and changes in economic conditions between now and actual planting.
UNITED STATES HIGHLIGHTS
Corn planted area for all purposes in 2015 is estimated at 89.2 million acres, down 2 percent from last year. If realized, this will be the
third consecutive year of an acreage decline and would be the lowest planted acreage in the United States since 2010.
Sorghum growers intend to plant 7.90 million acres of sorghum for all purposes in 2015, up 11 percent from last year. Kansas and
Texas, the leading sorghum producing States, account for 75 percent of the expected United States acreage. As of March 22, Texas
growers had only planted 7 percent of their crop, 7 percentage points behind last year and 21 points behind the 5-year average.
Area seeded to oats for the 2015 crop year is expected to total 2.93 million acres, up 8 percent from 2014. If realized, United States
planted acres will be the fourth lowest on record. Record low planted acreage is estimated in Oregon, Texas, and Wyoming.
Barley producers intend to seed 3.26 million acres of barley for the 2015 crop year, up 10 percent from the previous year. If realized,
this will be the fourth smallest seeded area on record. Record low acreage is expected in California, New York, and Utah.
All wheat planted area for 2015 is estimated at 55.4 million acres, down 3 percent from 2014. The 2015 winter wheat planted area, at
40.8 million acres, is down 4 percent from last year but up less than 1 percent from the previous estimate. Of this total, about 29.6
million acres are Hard Red Winter, 7.75 million acres are Soft Red Winter, and 3.43 million acres are White Winter. Area planted to
other spring wheat for 2015 is estimated at 13.0 million acres, down slightly from 2014. Of this total, about 12.1 million acres are
Hard Red Spring wheat.
Producers intend to harvest 57.1 million acres of all dry hay in 2015, virtually unchanged from 2014. Hay acreage is expected to
increase in the Mid-Atlantic and Central Plains. However, this is offset by expected decreases across the Southern and Pacific States,
as well as in the Upper Midwest. Record high acreage is expected in Louisiana. Record low acreage is expected in California, Illinois,
Minnesota, and Ohio.