USDA's release of estimated 2017 planted acreage for the major crops was not completely unexpected with some corn and wheat acres going into soybean production.
We are more interested in some of the longer-term changes seen in the mix of crops that U.S. farmers' seed and this graphic shows the percent of the total eight crop acreage mix allotted to each commodity from 1990 to 2017 with this year's figures being the USDA projections unveiled at their annual Outlook Forum.
We track corn, soybeans, the combined corn and soybean figure, and wheat on the left hand axis with cotton, rice and the total of the three other feed grains (barley, oats and sorghum) on the right hand axis.
The surge in soybean acreage is certainly noteworthy as better economics and new seed genetics has lifted this oilseed from a mere 23% of the eight crop mix to this year's 34.7%.
A similar situation in corn going from 29.3% in 1990 to an estimated 35.5% this year.
The combined soybean and corn acreage itself has moved from 52.1% of the eight crop mix to 70.2% this year.
With more land being allotted to corn and soybeans, planted area of some crops have declined and this includes all wheat going from 30.4% in 1990 to 18.2% this year and the sum total of the other three feed grains from 11.5% in 1990 to 4.6% this year.
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