Illinois Farmers to Plant More Corn, Less Soybeans

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Concerns about Asian soybean rust appears to be the major factor in farmers' decisions to plant fewer acres to soybeans.

The U.S. Agriculture Department's spring planting survey shows about 9.7 million acres are expected to be planted to soybeans in Illinois, down from just under 10 million acres last year and 10.3 million acres in 2003.

Only about 12 percent of the Illinois farmers surveyed said concern about soybean rust disease was a factor in their planting decision, but 58 percent of those farmers say they will plant fewer acres.

The USDA says Illinois farmers are expected to plant about 12 million acres to corn this spring, up about two percent from the 11.75 million acres planted last year.