Corn, soybeans gaining on wheat
By MIKE CORN
In Kansas, wheat continues to reign supreme. But corn is a force to reckon with.
Kansas farmers planted fewer acres of wheat for harvest this year, while corn farmers are adding another 100,000 acres to the mix, new prospective planting estimates issued Monday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture suggest.
Of the state's main crops, only soybeans and corn will be growing in number of acres this year.
All told, Kansas farmers will plant nearly 20.5 million acres of crops this year. That's down from both 2013 and 2012.
Farmers are planting another 300,000 acres of soybeans this year, an 8-percent increase from a year ago. Still, soybeans are the state's third-most popular crop, with 3.9 million acres expected to be planted.
Farmers also said they plan to plant 4.4 million acres of corn this year. That's up from 4.3 million a year ago and down from 4.7 million in 2012.
Wheat farmers planted 9.3 million acres last fall. That's down from 9.5 million in 2013.
Grain sorghum will be planed on just 2.7 million acres this year, down sharply from the 3.1 million last year to face the drought.
The remaining crops are relatively small in terms of acres.
* Oats -- 65,000 acres, a drop from 100,000 last year.
* Barley -- 10,000 acres, a drop from 17,000 last year.
* Oil sunflowers -- 55,000 acres, on par with last year.
* Confectionary sunflowers -- 22,000 acres, up sharply from 16,000 acres planted last year.
* Cotton -- 36,000 acres, up from last year's 27,000 acres but well below the 56,000 acres planted in 2012.
* Dry-edible beans -- 6,000 acres, up slightly from the 5,000 acres last year.