According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, North Dakota’s corn planted acreage is forecast to be 4.05 million acres, a 29 percent increase from 2018. Gulke Group president Jerry Gulke says spring wheat lost its luster, along with soybeans. “I’m not surprised corn acres are higher. If China buys corn they’ll likely buy it out of the Pacific Northwest.” North Dakota is also the only state showing an increase in total crop acres. Gulke isn’t sure where those additional acres are coming from. “Maybe it comes from less Prevent Plant, but it’s a good question,” says Gulke. “We looked at it and our survey didn’t show anyone idling land bringing it back into production, but all else being equal, you almost have to look at it as economic times. Farmers can’t afford to leave anything idle. They need to at least get rent back.”
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