On the heels of last year's record-high corn production, U.S. farmers intend to plant 8 percent fewer corn acres in 2008, according to the Prospective Plantingsreport released recently by the


U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Producers plan to plant 86 million acres of corn this year. While 7.6 million acres less than 2007, this would still be the second-largest area since 1949. The outlook for corn prices remains strong, thanks to increasing ethanol production and other factors. Still, favorable prices for other crops, along with crop rotation considerations and high corn input costs, are motivating some farmers to switch from corn.