WASHINGTON, D.C. — The USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) releases a monthly crop acreage report for the last part of the year that indicates the highest number of unplanted acres since the first report was issued in 2007.

According to a press release by the FSA, more than 19 million acres of farmland did not have a cash crop planted in the ground in 2019, an increase of around 17 million acres from 2018.

Photo: United States Department of Agriculture

Historic flooding around the country left many acres not only unplanted, but underwater. The majority of the unplanted land reported for 2019 came from the Midwest at around 73 percent, or around 13.87 million of the 19 million acres.

Since many producers could not plant a cash crop, the number of acres used for cover crop increased over the previous two years. The press release indicates that in 2019, the total number of acres used for cover crop was 2.71 million. In 2018, total cover crop acreage was 2.14 million and 1.88 million in 2017.

The FSA requires farmers that are involved in USDA programs to submit an acreage report detailing how their farmland was used. These reports help to calculate losses for disaster relief programs and keep a producer eligible for USDA programs.

Updated reports will be released through January and are available at the FSA’s website.

For further informaiton about the impact of the 2019 unplanted acres, visit the USDA’s website for the August 12 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates.