Illinois corn acreage projected to decline in 2015

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture expects Illinois farmers to plant fewer acres of corn in 2015 as a nationwide price slump continues. The USDA survey of prospective plantings in the new crop season forecasts a 2 percent drop in Illinois corn acreage. The projected 11.7 million acres would mark a 10-year low. Farmers are expected to plant nearly 10 million acres of soybeans in the state, a slight increase from 2014. That’s consistent with an estimated record-high for nationwide soybean production. More farmers are favoring soybeans because they cost less to grow and prices farmers receive for soybeans haven’t fallen as quickly as corn. Soybeans also can withstand broader weather variations.