New Mexico’s corn crop expected to grow in 2017

Corn Field File Photo (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – Federal agriculture officials say New Mexico’s corn crop is expected to be slightly bigger in 2017.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s statistics service says a survey in March of growers in the state indicate they are planning to plant about 125,000 acres of corn this year. That’s enough to cover 195 square miles (505 square kilometers).

Sorghum and cotton planting also is expected to be up this year, but the surveys show the peanut acreage will likely remain the same at 8,000 acres (32 square kilometers).

As for hay, officials say producers in New Mexico intend to harvest about 265,000 acres (1,072 square kilometers) this year. That’s down by about 4 percent from 2016.

Above-normal temperatures and little rain plagued much of the eastern half of the state in March.