Third major acreage expansion in past 50 years underway


Third major acreage expansion in past 50 years underway

An ag economist says global harvested acreage has been trending higher since 2020’s better prices.

David Widmar with Ag Economic Insights tells Brownfield the world has added about an extra 70 million acres into production for 13 primary crops in just two years.

“That’s a significant upturn,” he says.  “The last two big expansions we had were during the 1970s and from the mid-2000s to about 2014.”

For perspective, he says that’s not that far off from all of the corn or soybean acres in the U.S. harvested last year.

Widmar says major drivers include large demand for ag products, strong profitability, and high commodity prices.

“It’s primarily an oilseed expansion which is different than what we saw in the last expansion—that was primarily corn driven,” he explains.

Widmar says Brazil, Russia, Ukraine, and India are the areas with the largest acreage expansions.

The 13 primary global crops analyzed include barley, corn, cotton, millet, oats, peanuts, rapeseed, soybeans, sunflowers, milled rice, rye, sorghum, and wheat.