The U.S. Agriculture Department has said that U.S. farmers are likely to reduce plantings of corn while expanding seedings of soybeans and wheat for the upcoming marketing year.

This is based on the forecast of the USDA which says farmers will seed 92.0 million acres (0.37 million square kilometers) of corn in the 2022/23 crop year, down from 93.3 million in 2021/22. For soybeans, acreage is projected to rise to 87.5 million acres, from 87.2 million.

The USDA also projected U.S. all-wheat plantings for 2022/23 at 49.0 million acres, up from 46.7 million acres in 2021/22.

The USDA’s projected expansions in wheat and soy acres is following the fact that global food prices are at 10-year highs. This is led by increases in cereals and vegetable oils, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization.

Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) wheat futures this week topped $8 a bushel, the highest in nearly nine years, due to tightening world supplies of milling wheat.

CBOT soyoil futures have cooled slightly since notching an all-time high above 73 cents per pound in June, supported by scarce global vegetable oil supplies and rising demand for soy-based biofuels.

U.S. plantings of corn, which requires more fertilizer than soybeans, could be limited in 2022 by surging prices for inputs.

CF Industries, a major producer of the crop nutrient, on Thursday said a shortage of nitrogen fertilizer due to soaring natural gas prices is threatening to reduce global crop yields next year.

The United States is the world’s largest corn exporter, the No. 2 global soybean supplier after Brazil, and one of the world’s top wheat exporters.

The USDA, which plans to release a full report in February detailing its annual 10-year supply and demand projections, said the figures released on Friday were based on its analytical models and not farmer surveys. The projections were prepared from August through October 2021.

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