September 28, 2003
CROP ACRE CHANGES ON ILLINOIS FARM BUSINESS FARM
MANAGEMENT FARMS, 1995 THROUGH 2002
This newsletter reports acres in corn, soybeans, wheat, forages,
and other crops on Illinois Farm Business Farm Management (FBFM)
farms from 1995 through 2002. Total acres in crops across all farms
do not change much from year to year. In contrast, crop acres on
individual farms can change dramatically. Individual farms within FBFM average a switch between crops of 9% per year.
Total Acres in Crops
Table 1 shows acres in crops averaged across all the FBFM farms.
In 2002, for example, 48% of tillable acres were in corn, 45% in
soybeans, 2% in wheat, 1% in double-crop soybeans, 2% in forages,
and 3% in other acres. These percents do not total 100% because
acres in double-crop soybeans also count towards another crop (mostly
wheat). For 2002, percents total 101% because double-crop soybeans
had 1% of the acres. The other category includes Conservation Reserve
Protection (CRP) and set-aside (.8% of acres in 2002), seed corn
(.8%), vegetable crops (.6%), and miscellaneous acres (.6%).
A noticeable shift in acres occurred between 1995 and 1996. Between
these two years, corn and soybeans each gained 2% while forage crops
declined by 1% and other acres decline by 3%. The 1995 Farm Bill
was implemented between the two years and this Bill did not have
set aside acre requirements. The decline in the other category was
entirely attributable to a reduction in set aside acres in favor
of corn and soybeans.
The 2002 Farm Bill may impact 2003 acres. At the time this newsletter
was written, data to compute 2003 acres was not available. Reports
from Illinois Agricultural Statistics suggest that between 2002
and 2003, corn acres declined, soybean acres increased, and wheat
acres increased. This change appears to be mostly due to shifts
in southern Illinois.
Percentages in Table 1 mask some of the variability across the
state. Acres by Crop Reporting Districts are reported in Tables
3 through 10 located in the appendix. These tables show that corn
is planted on more of the acres in the western Illinois (Table 5
and 7) and wheat has more acres in southern Illinois (Tables 10
Acre Changes on Individual Illinois Farms
Between 1995 through 2002, acre shifts across the FBFM farms averaged
9%. This means that farms increased acres in one or more crops by
9% while reducing acres in other crops by 9%. Table 2 shows a distribution
of acre changes. In 2002, for example, 12% of the farms had acre
shifts of less than 1% of tillable acre, 34% of the farms had shifts
between 1% and 5%, 26% of the farms had shifts between 5% and 10%,
14% of the farms had shifts between 10% and 20%, and 15% had shifts
greater than 20%.
Smaller farms tend to have larger percent shifts in acres than
larger farms. Between 2001 and 2002, farms with less than 500 tillable
acres averaged an 11% shift while farms greater than 500 acres averaged
a 7% shift. Farms in southern Illinois also average larger acreage
shift. Between 2001 and 2002, farms in the southeast and southwest
crop reporting districts averaged an 11 percent shift compared to
a 9% shift for the rest of the state. However, the farm size and
location factors do not account for a large portion of the variability
in acres shifts across farms.
This newsletter examined crop acre changes across Illinois FBFM
farms. Between 1996 through 2002, crop acres in Illinois did not
change much. The shift in acres averaged across all Illinois farms
averaged less than 1% per year. On individual farms, however, shifts
in acres between crops averaged 9%. Changes on individual farms
offset one another leading to the stable crop acres across the state.
These results suggest that aggregate figures mask the variability
of farm acre decisions that exist on farms.
The author would like to acknowledge that data used in this study
comes from the local Farm Business Farm Management (FBFM) Associations
across the State of Illinois. Without their cooperation, information
as comprehensive and accurate as this would not be available for
educational purposes. FBFM, which consists of 6,000 plus farmers
and 62 professional field staff, is a not-for-profit organization
available to all farm operators in Illinois. FBFM field staff provide
on-farm counsel with computerized recordkeeping, farm financial
management, business entity planning and income tax management.
For more information, please contact the State FBFM Office located
at the University of Illinois Department of Agricultural and Consumer
Economics at 217-333-5511 or visit the FBFM website at www.fbfm.org.
Issued by: Gary
Schnitkey, Department of Agricultural and Consumer
Appendix Tables: Crop Acres by Crop Reporting Districts