WASHINGTON, DC, US — The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) in its preliminary baseline projections as of October forecast US farmers will plant more wheat and corn in 2023 but fewer acres to soybeans. The projections for eight major crops included higher planted area for wheat, corn, sorghum, oats and rice from 2022 but lower area for soybeans, barley and upland cotton.

US 2023 all-wheat planted area was projected at 47.5 million acres, up 1.8 million acres, or 3.9%, from 45.7 million acres in 2022 and the highest since 47.8 million acres planted for harvest in 2018 if realized. Average yield was projected at 49.2 bushels per acre, up 2.7 bushels, or 6%, from 46.5 bushels per acre in 2022. All-wheat production next year was projected at 1.919 billion bushels, up 269 million bushels, or 16%, from 1.65 billion bushels in 2022 and the highest since 1.932 billion bushels in 2019.

Area planted to corn in 2023 was forecast at 92 million acres, up 3.4 million acres, or 3.8%, from 2022 and the highest since 93.3 million acres planted in 2021. Corn production was forecast at a record-high 15.265 billion bushels with an average yield of 181.5 bushels per acre, both up from 13.895 billion bushels and 171.9 bushels per acre as the October forecast for 2022.

Soybean planted area was forecast at 87 million acres, down 500,000 acres from 2022. The 2023 soybean crop was projected at 4.48 billion bushels with an average yield of 52 bushels per acre, compared with 4.313 billion bushels and 49.8 bushels per acre forecast for the current year.

Area allocated to the conservation reserve program was forecast at 24.1 million acres in 2023, up 2.1 million acres, or 10%, from 22 million acres in 2022.

The preliminary projections are part of the USDA’s 10-year outlook that will be revised in February 2023 during the Agricultural Outlook Forum.