US soybean area hits new high
US soybean plantings are expected to rise by 10.9% to a record 84.8 million acres (34.3 million ha) this year, according to the USDA's June forecast. The agency had predicted a 6.5% rise in March (Agrow No 686, p 13). Some 92% of planting was completed by mid-June, compared with 83% a year earlier and two percentage points higher than the historical average. Almost all of the 31 soybean-growing states have increased or unchanged plantings this year. With plantings of genetically modified herbicide-tolerant soybeans accounting for 94% of the total, compared with 93% last year, the area of GM soybeans is set to rise by 12% to 79.7 million acres.