As of March 1, Colorado growers intend to plant 1.50 million acres of corn for all purposes in 2018, up 40,000 acres, or 3 percent from last year's plantings, according to the March 1 Agricultural Survey conducted by the Mountain Regional Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. Sorghum planting intentions total 400,000 acres, down 10,000 acres from last year. The area expected to be seeded to oats, at 55,000 acres, is up 5,000 acres from a year ago. Most of the oat acreage in Colorado is harvested for hay. Growers intend to plant 50,000 acres of barley in 2018, down 20,000 acres from last year's actual plantings. All wheat acreage is expected to total 2.41 million acres for 2018. Winter wheat seeded last fall for harvest in 2018 is estimated at 2.40 million acres, up 150,000 acres from the 2017 crop. Growers intend to seed 12,000 acres of spring wheat this year, up 2,000 acres from last year. Hay producers in the State intend to harvest 1.43 million acres this year. This is down 10,000 acres from the acreage cut for hay in 2017. Growers intend to plant 109,000 acres of sunflowers this year, up 17,000 acres from what they planted in 2017. The acreage of oil varieties is expected to total 95,000 acres, up 15,000 acres from last year's plantings. The area for non-oil varieties is expected to be up 2,000 acres to 14,000 acres this year. The area planted to sugarbeets is expected to be down 3,600 acres from last year's actual plantings to 25,800 acres. Dry edible bean acreage is expected to total 50,000 acres, down 14 percent from the 58,000 acres planted in 2017. As of March 1, mountain snowpack was 72 percent of average, statewide. Final acreages actually planted for several crops will be determined by irrigation water prospects, soil moisture levels at planting time, and changes in economic conditions between now and actual planting.
UNITED STATES HIGHLIGHTS
Corn planted area for all purposes in 2018 is estimated at 88.0 million acres, down 2 percent or 2.14 million acres from last year . Compared with last year, planted acreage is expected to be down or unchanged in 33 of the 48 estimating States.
Growers intend to plant 5.93 million acres of sorghum for all purposes in 2018, up 5 percent from last year.
Area seeded to oats for the 2018 crop year is estimated at 2.72 million acres, up 5 percent from 2017. If realized, United States planted area will be the fourth lowest on record.
Producers intend to seed 2.29 million acres of barley for the 2018 crop year, down 8 percent from the previous year. If realized, seeded area for barley will be the lowest on record for the United States.
All wheat planted area for 2018 is estimated at 47.3 million acres, up 3 percent from 2017. This represents the second lowest all wheat planted area on record since records began in 1919. The 2018 winter wheat planted area, at 32.7 million acres, is up slightly from both last year and the previous estimate. Of this total, about 23.2 million acres are Hard Red Winter, 5.85 million acres are Soft Red Winter, and 3.64 million acres are White Winter. Area planted to other spring wheat for 2018 is estimated at 12.6 million acres, up 15 percent from 2017. Of this total, about 12.1 million acres are Hard Red Spring wheat. Durum planted area for 2018 is estimated at 2.00 million acres, down 13 percent from the previous year.
Producers intend to harvest 53.7 million acres of all hay in 2018, down less than 1 percent from 2017. If realized, this will represent the second lowest total hay harvested area since 1908, only behind 2016.
Growers intend to plant 1.39 million acres of sunflowers in 2018, down 1 percent from 2017. If realized, this will be the lowest planted area for the Nation since 1976. Compared with last year, growers in four of the eight major sunflower-producing States expect a decline in sunflower acreage this year. Area intended for oil type varieties, at 1.24 million acres, is up 2 percent from 2017, but will be the third lowest since 1976, if realized. Area intended for non-oil varieties, estimated at 150,000 acres, is down 20 percent from last year and will be the lowest on record, if realized.
Area expected to be planted to sugarbeets for the 2018 crop year is estimated at 1.11 million acres, down 2 percent from 2017. Intended plantings are below the previous year in 6 of the 11 estimating States.
Area planted to dry beans in 2018 is expected to be 2.03 million acres, down 3 percent from the previous season. Six of the 11 estimating States expect an increase in total dry bean planted acres from last year.