WASHINGTON, Feb 11 (Reuters) - U.S. farmers will plant the second-largest amount of land to corn since World War Two, putting a record harvest within reach with normal yields following 2012's drought-shortened crop, the govenment projected on Monday.
The mammoth crop would total 14.4 billion bushels, up 34 percent from 2012 and 10 percent bigger than the current record, said the Agriculture Department in its first look at this year's crops. USDA projected a soybean crop of 3.335 billion bushels, the second-largest on record; wheat at 2.190 billion bushels and upland cotton at 13.200 million bales weighing 480 lb (218 kg). The projections assume normal weather and yields.
Based on conditions in early winter, USDA projected corn plantings of 96.0 million acres, second-largest since 1944 and down 1 percent from 2012. Soybean plantings of 76.0 million acres would be the fourth largest on record.
Projected 2013 U.S. major crop plantings-A
Crop Plant Harvest Yield Crop End stock
Mln ac Mln ac bu/ac Mln bu Mln bu
Corn 96.0 88.3 163.5 14,435 2,067
Soybeans 76.0 75.1 44.4 3,335 185
Wheat 57.5 48.5 45.2 2,190 733
Up cotton 9.3 7.9 800 13.200 4.644
A-Cotton yield in lbs/ac; crop and end stocks in millions of bales.
USDA's projections are on the Internet at