U.S. grain production is the talk of the world as USDA announced the 2011 farmer planting intentions of 92.2 million acres of corn, 3 million acres of barley and 5.6 million acres of sorghum. For corn, this represents a nearly 4 million-acre increase from 88.2 million acres in 2010, approaching the 93.5 million acres in 2007, which was the largest corn acreage since World War II.

With grain prices, world food demand and corn stocks on everyone’s mind,grain customers worldwide are keenly focused on U.S. planting intentions this season.

“This healthy expansion of corn planted area comes at a time when world coarse grains demand is increasing,” said Thomas C. Dorr, U.S. Grains Council president and CEO. “Today’s report is the first official indication that U.S. producers are responding to market signals by significantly expanding their corn production area. The ability of U.S. farmers to meet growing market demand has established the United States’ position in the global marketplace as a reliable, long-term supplier of coarse grains and co-products.”

Indeed, today’s report was a positive signal for export customers, clearly demonstrating that U.S. farmers consider their international customers’ needs when making important planting decisions.

“Farmers have responded to market indicators and will plant more corn acres this year. We anticipated these planting numbers because farmers have invested in building demand and take a great interest in meeting the needs of their customers,” said Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association CEO Dwayne Siekman.

Erick Erickson of the Council says that two factors determine crop production: area planted and yield.

“With 92.2 million planted acres and yields at least at trend, international customers should be optimistic about U.S. corn production in 2011,” he said.

The United States has the ability to meet growing world demand and will continue to be a reliable and leading supplier of coarse grains for years to come.