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State

USDA: Ill. to have less corn acreage, more beans

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The number of acres Illinois farmers devote to corn crops this year is expected to dip slightly amid growers' plans to plant more soybeans statewide.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's annual forecast released Monday shows Illinois will have roughly 11.9 million acres of corn. That's down about 1 percent from the 12 million acres planted last year. In 2012, the acreage was 12.8 million.

The USDA says soybeans will make up the difference, with the 9.5 million acres expected to be planted in Illinois coming in 1 percent higher than last year's 9.45 million acres.

Nationwide, the USDA expects 91.7 million acres of corn to be sown this year, down about 4 percent from last year. Soybean acreage is expected to rise about 6 percent to 81.5 million acres.

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