Kansas farmers will plant a record 3.54 million acres to corn this year, continuing a several-year trend towardincreased corn acres, said a Kansas State University agricultural economist. Bill Tierney, the crops marketing specialist with K-State Research and Extension, made the projection based on the latest government data.

Ample spring rains and an unusually large number of failed wheat acres may have paved the way for a record large corn crop, estimated to yield 498 million bushels, he said. The acreage projection is 4 percent 140,000 acres above the.

latest USDA projection. It is up from 3 million planted acres in 1998 and 2.150 million in 1995. Another K-State model projects that 3.36 million acres of corn or 95 percent of the planted area will be harvested as grain.

"Because of the availability of soil moisture, a high percentage of the state's 1 million acres of abandoned winter wheat is expected to be re-seeded to other crops," Tierney said, noting that grain sorghum will be planted on much of that land.

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