Poll Shows More Than 3 Million Corn Acres Could be Lost

More than one third of farmers answering a Farm Futures poll say some of their corn couldn't be planted

One of the biggest questions surrounding this year's historic grain market is how many acres of the 2008 corn crop actually were planted after weeks of persistent rains across the Midwest. Now, a Farm Futures online poll is beginning to provide answers, suggesting more than 3 million acres could be lost.

More than one third of the 584 producers responding to the poll said they were unable to plant some of their intended corn acres. And almost 12% indicated that more than 20% of their corn didn't get in. Based on the results, Farm Futures estimates at least 3.3 million acres could be lost, perhaps more.

The survey was conducted June 6 to June 13 on FarmFutures.com, after the prevented planted deadline for crop insurance in many top producing states.

Late-planted corn generally has lower yield potential than fields completed in a timely fashion. USDA began lowering its estimate of what would be a "normal" yield in its May crop report, taking one bushel per acre off the statistical trend, then slashed another five bushels off trend in its June 10 report. The government, which in March reported farmers intended to plant 86 million acres of corn, updates acreage projections on June 30.

While the results of the online-poll are not scientific, farmers included comments about their season that provide a glimpse at one of the most difficult springs in history for U.S. corn growers.

"It is no longer an issue of whether or not it is in but if it is under water," said one producer last week, as corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade topped $7 for the first time in history. "Good price, no crops to sell!" said another farmer.

These comments were typical from growers across the Corn Belt:

"Started planting corn on Tuesday. Have only 160 acres planted out of 1,600 planned," said a farmer in southeastern Illinois.

"Here in northern Nebraska we are at least 2 weeks behind on growing conditions. We are probably in the best shape of anyone."

"Acres were planted, the problem is we have drowned out, or flooded at least 25% of our production in southeast Wisconsin. Too late to replant... God help us!!"

Here are the final results of the poll:

Heavy rains hampered planting in many areas over the past month. What percentage of your intended corn acres won't be planted to corn this spring?

None. All my corn acres are planted


1 to 5%


6 to 10%


11% to 15%


16% to 20%


More than 20%


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