U.S. Farmers To Boost Corn Crop Following Devastating Drought

U.S. farmers are boosting their corn acreage this year as global demand improves and after a devastating drought last year left American corn supplies near a decade low.

A big crop from the U.S., which is the world's largest corn exporter, could help to ease prices after they surged to a 10-year high in 2021 following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which is also a major corn producer.

Analysts at S&P Global Commodity Insights forecasts that U.S. farmers will plant 90.5 million acres of corn in 2023, which would be 2.2% more than last year, as well as a more modest 0.6% increase for soybean crops.

U.S. farmers alternate between soybeans and corn to help maintain soil health. After favoring soybeans last year when fertilizer prices spiked, many farmers are planning to devote the majority of their fields to corn this year.

Since last year's harvest, exporters have booked sales of just 24.04 million tonnes of U.S. corn, down 43% from a year earlier, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department.

Recent U.S. Agriculture Department data showed that after a drought last August, farmers were forced to abandon the highest percentage of their corn acreage in the past 10 years.

Last year's harvest shortfall left corn supplies in the U.S. at their lowest level since 2013 and made farmers hopeful that prices would rally in the coming months.

Corn is also used as animal feed and as a fertilizer around the world.