As of March 1, Colorado growers intend to plant 1.30 million acres of corn for all purposes in 2017, down 40,000 acres, or 3 percent from last year’s plantings, according to the March 1 Agricultural Survey conducted by the Mountain Regional Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. Sorghum planting intentions total 450,000 acres, unchanged from last year. The area expected to be seeded to oats, at 55,000 acres, is unchanged from a year ago. Most of the oat acreage in Colorado is harvested for hay. Growers intend to plant 62,000 acres of barley in 2017, down 17,000 acres from last year’s actual plantings. All wheat acreage is expected to total 2.31 million acres for 2017. Winter wheat seeded last fall for harvest in 2017 is estimated at 2.30 million acres, down 50,000 acres from the 2016 crop. Growers intend to seed 8,000 acres of spring wheat this year, down 3,000 acres from last year. Hay producers in the State intend to harvest 1.35 million acres this year. This is down 30,000 acres from the acreage cut for hay in 2016. Growers intend to plant 81,000 acres of sunflowers this year, up 7,000 acres from what they planted in 2016. The acreage of oil varieties is expected to total 65,000 acres, up 5,000 acres from last year’s plantings. The area for non-oil varieties is expected to be up 2,000 acres to 16,000 acres this year. The area planted to sugarbeets is expected to be down 100 acres from last year’s actual plantings to 28,000 acres. Dry edible bean acreage is expected to total 59,000 acres, up 28 percent from the 46,000 acres planted in 2016. As of February 27, mountain snowpack was 138 percent of average, statewide. Final acreages actually planted for several crops will be determined by irrigation water prospects, soil moisture levels at planting time, and changes in economic conditions between now and actual planting.
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