With in-person activities suspended because of the threat of coronavirus, the National Ag Statistics Service will have to take a different approach to determine what farmers will have planted by June. Missouri State Statistician Bob Garino says because of social distancing, USDA’s call center staffers and field enumerators are all at home, meaning they might have to take a different approach for compiling the annual Acreage report.

Garino notes that the recent Prospective Plantings survey was largely completed before the national emergency was declared, and with better than expected response.

Missouri farmers are expected to plant 13-point-seven-eight million acres of crops this spring, nearly identical to 2018’s acreage and up almost a million from last year’s flood-induced reduction. This year’s intended acres include five-point-eight million acres of soybeans, three-point-six million acres of corn, three-and-a-quarter million acres of hay, 480-thousand acres of wheat, 400-thousand acres of cotton, 199-thousand acres of rice, and 50-thousand acres of oats.