(Reuters) - Rising water levels on the Missouri River are threatening to flood up to 500,000 acres of key corn and soybean production areas in the western Midwest.
The U.S. Coast Guard on Wednesday closed a part of the river to all vessel traffic where the state lines of Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri meet.
The flooding has sparked a scramble for supplies in the soymeal cash market as several processing plants are expected to shut when flood waters disrupt rail service in some areas.
The overflow of the Missouri River follows flooding of farm land in the South by the Mississippi River last month.
The United States is the world’s No. 1 grower and exporter of corn and soybeans, and top shipper of wheat.
Here is a list of some states that could be affected by the Missouri River, and were hit by the Mississippi River floods:
* Iowa - The top U.S. producer of both corn and soybeans. USDA has forecast Iowa corn acreage this year at 13.9 million and soybean acreage at 9.4 million.
* Nebraska - Corn acreage forecast at 9.5 million acres, making it the third biggest state in terms of corn production. Soybean acreage seen at 5.05 million.
* Illinois - This state is the second-largest U.S. producer of corn with 12.8 million acres expected to be planted this year. Farmers there are also planting an estimated 9.1 million acres of soybeans.
* Indiana - Nearly 6 million acres of corn are expected to be planted this spring in Indiana and 5.35 million acres of soybeans.
* Ohio - Farmers there are planting an expected 4.4 million acres of soybeans and 3.7 million acres of corn.
* Missouri - Missouri is a large contributor to U.S. soybean production, with an estimated 5.3 million acres in plantings projected. Corn acreage totals an estimated 3.3 million acres this year; with 360,000 acres seen planted to cotton; and 202,000 acres to rice.
* Kentucky - Kentucky is the second-largest producer of tobacco. It has only about 1.4 million acres of corn.
* Tennessee - Farmers in Tennessee have 1.36 million acres dedicated to soybeans and 470,000 acres devoted to cotton. The state also is a large producer of tobacco. The state has just 820,000 acres expected to be planted to corn.
* Arkansas - As the top U.S. rice-growing state, an estimated 1.4 million acres were forecast to be planted this year. The state also has an estimated 630,000 acres of cotton expected to be planted this spring and 480,000 acres of corn. About 3.3 million acres were slated for soybean production, but that acreage will likely rise as flooded corn, cotton and rice land is shifted to soybeans, which can be planted later in the spring.
* Mississippi - Farmers were expected to seed 530,000 acres of cotton this spring. Farmers were also expected to devote 860,000 acres to corn planting, 1.85 million acres to soybeans, and 200,000 acres to rice this spring.
* Louisiana - Farmers in the country’s No. 3 rice state were expected to devote 470,000 acres to the crop this year, as well as 520,000 acres to corn and 1.05 million acres to soybeans. Producers there will also seed 290,000 acres of cotton in 2011.
(Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture)
Reporting by Mark Weinraub, Carey Gillam and Karl Plume; Editing by Alden Bentley