COLUMBUS, Ohio — Weather, planting, and prices — farmers are focusing on all three ahead of this year's harvest.

What You Need To Know

  • In this week's edition of Ag Report, anchor and reporter Chuck Ringwalt and agriculture expert Andy Vance discuss the USDA's Prospective Plantings report.

  • As of March 31, the USDA expects farmers will plant more corn, soybean, and wheat in 2021 than they did in 2020.

  • Each week, Ringwalt and Vance discuss a topic of importance within agriculture

Agriculture expert Andy Vance said farmers are figuratively dealing with the calm before the storm. He said there is a lot of activity happening, but it's not in the field just yet.

"We're at that stage where farmers are itching to get out into the field," he said. 

The USDA released its Prospective Plantings Report on March 31. In it, the department found that based on survery results from farmers across the country, it's expected to be slightly more corn and soybean acres planted than last year.

According to the USDA, corn-planted acreage is expected to be up less than 1% from 2020. Soybean and wheat acreage is expected to be up 5%. Meanwhile, cotton acreage is expected to be down less than 1% as of March 31.

Vance also discussed how farmers are navigating unpredictable weather.

"Farmers are itching to get in the field because the earlier you plant, in theory, the bigger the chance you could have a big yield later," he said. "The trade-off to that is if you get seed in the ground and then you have that late cold snap or you have huge spring rains, you might have to replant a good number of acres or you might have acres that you just don't have replanted at all and we did see that quite a bit last year."

Click here to view the USDA Prospective Plantings report.