Alabama farmer Ron Brumley is following a national trend of planting more soybeans and fewer acres of corn. He said he anticipates planting 200 acres of corn and 300 acres of soybeans, but his plans could change if corn prices falter.
Alabama farmers in general will follow a national trend this spring by planting more soybeans and peanuts and fewer acres of corn and cotton.
“The corn price has improved, but if it backs down, I don’t know what I’ll do,” said Brumley, who farms in Colbert County. “I’d rather plant $12 soybeans than take a chance on (the price of corn) dropping out from under me.”
According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Alabama farmers are expected to plant 290,000 acres of corn, down 30,000 acres from 2013. Most of that acreage is expected to shift to soybeans, which are projected to hit 500,000 acres, up 65,000 from 2013.
Alabama farmers planted about 230,000 acres of wheat last fall, down 70,000 acres. In Monroe County, Scott Saucer destroyed his wheat crop after bitterly cold weather reduced its production potential.
“We didn’t get it planted until the second week of December, and we had such a harsh winter it wasn’t worth fertilizing,” said Saucer, who will instead focus on growing 600 acres of cotton and 400 acres of peanuts.
Across the state, farmers are counting on about 165,000 acres of peanuts, up 25,000 acres from last year. However, low prices continue to put downward pressure on cotton. Planned cotton acreage is down 25,000 acres to a projected total of 340,000 acres.
Nationally, farmers plan to plant 91.7 million acres of corn, down 4 percent, and 81.5 million acres of soybeans, up 6 percent over last year.