Nebraska farmer planting corn in field.

Corn planting season has begun in Nebraska, and farmers are expected to invest nearly $2.2 billion into this year’s crop.

Nebraska corn farmers will plant 9.9 million acres of corn in 2021 according to the latest Prospective Plantings report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). If these planting estimates hold up, Nebraska corn farmers will invest nearly $2.2 billion dollars into the state’s economy over a two-month period. This amount is a result of inputs, such as seed, fuel and fertilizer, but does not include land costs, labor or equipment. Despite the seemingly high investments now, the full economic impact will be realized over time.

“Agriculture is an industry filled with risk and heavily reliant on Mother Nature,” said Kelly Brunkhorst, executive director of the Nebraska Corn Board (NCB). “Despite the uncertainty, Nebraska’s farmers are passionate about producing an abundant supply of food, fuel and fiber, which shows through their yearly investments during the planting season. The economic impact of agriculture to Nebraska is substantial. It’s truly our No. 1 industry.”

Farmers in Nebraska historically begin to plant their corn in mid-April and try to finish by mid-May. However, weather often dictates when farmers can plant. The latest Crop Progress report issued by the USDA (released April 26, 2021), showed Nebraska farmers are 6% completed with corn planting, which is behind where the state was at this time last year (17%), and behind the five-year average (15%).

“The planting season got off to a fairly slow start, but recent favorable weather will help accelerate overall progress,” said David Bruntz, chairman of NCB and farmer from Friend. “This is a busy time for farmers, so please be cautious if you’re driving on rural roads over the next several weeks. There will be lots of machinery moving from field to field, and it’s important to take a second for safety.”

Nationally, farmers are estimated to plant nearly 91.1 million acres of corn in 2021, which is up less than 1% from last year. For more crop progress information throughout the year, follow the Nebraska Corn Board on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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