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USDA is releasing the first 2013 spring planing estimate today. (Tribune file photo)

USDA to release first look at 2013 crop estimate

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The USDA is releasing its first estimate of the 2013 crop size in its spring planting report.

After a year dominated by worst drought since the 1950s, farmers are looking ahead to the next crop. Some analysts are expecting slightly more corn and soybeans to be planted than a year ago.

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Farmers planted 97.2 million acres of corn last year, the most since 1937. Some analysts are expecting corn acres at around 97.5 million acres.

Darrel L. Good, an agriculture economics professor at the University of Illinois, says more acres are available for planting because farmers enrolled 2.6 million fewer acres in the conservation reserve program last year.

Thursday’s USDA report is based on about 80,000 farmer surveys and is the first indication of planting intentions for this year.

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