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Minnesota is among the states expected to set a record for corn acreage in 2013. Minnesota is up 3 percent to 9 million acres. Planting season is approaching, but it won’t be real soon, as this snow-covered corn field shows Thursday along Kandiyohi County Road 5 west of New London. Tribune photo by Ron Adams

USDA expects this year’s corn acreage to be the highest in more than eight decades

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Farmers intend to plant 97.3 million acres of corn this year, the most since 1936, the USDA’s spring planting survey said Thursday.

The overall corn acreage forecast is up slightly from last year’s 97.2 million acres and reflects a shift in where the grain is grown. Acreage in some states hit hardest by last year’s drought retreated, while Southern states such as Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas are shifting cotton acres to corn.

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