Corn Field

Spring is an exciting time on farms. For many, it is a time to seed and anticipate the upcoming crop in the summer or fall. For others, it is a time of new birth as animals are born. Whatever the circumstances, it is an exciting time filled with new activity and optimism.

In anticipation of the planting season, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service conducts a survey of farmers to gauge their planting intentions for the 2021 crop year.

This early indication helps farmers, the businesses that they buy from and sell to, and other businesses in the logistics chain to understand what the size of the harvest may be.

The survey report was released March 31 and shows that West Virginia farmers intend to increase corn plantings in 2021, while Virginia farmers plan to scale back. Virginia farmers also reported shrinking soybean, cotton and peanut acres.

Survey Highlights

Highlights of the survey are:

Virginia

  • Corn: 510,000 acres, down 50,000 acres from the previous year.
  • Soybeans: 560,000 acres, down 10,000 acres from the previous year.
  • Cotton: 70,000 acres, down 10,000 acres from the previous year.
  • Peanuts: 27,000 acres, down 1,000 acres from the previous year.
  • All hay: 1.08 million acres, down 60,000 from the previous year.
  • Wheat: 220,000 acres, unchanged from the previous year.

West Virginia

  • Corn: 53,000 acres, up 2,000 acres from the previous year.
  • All hay: 575,000 acres, up 35,000 acres from the previous year.

NASS will conduct another farmer survey during the first two weeks of June to collect data on actual planted acres. That report will be published June 30. All NASS reports can be found at nass.usda.gov.

David Knopf is the Eastern Mountain Region director of the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

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