California corn acreage is up 29 percent to an all-time high of 670,000 acres.
It breaks the 600,000-acre record set in 1998.
California farmers expect to harvest 190,000 acres for grain in 2007, up 73 percent from last year. This is the largest corn grain acreage since the year 2000. High corn grain prices due to growing ethanol production, as well as strong demand for corn used for silage by dairy farms, encouraged the record high plantings.
Arizona farmers increased corn acreage there to 55,000 acres, just 5,000 more than last season.
While the California corn acreage increase is dramatic, overall California corn acreage pales compared to other states. There are 14 million acres planed in Iowa and 13 million in Illinois. Texas is growing 2.1 million, and Mississippi has almost one million acres of corn seeded.
U.S. farmers planted 92.9 million acres of corn this season, 19 percent more than last year. The actual planted acreage is the highest since 1944, when farmers planted 95.5 million corn acres.
Even with high prices, corn is still a poor economic alternative to many other California crops. Typically, the vast majority of California corn is chopped for dairy silage. It is often double cropped for silage as well.