Farmers planted an unexpectedly large crop of corn and soybeans this year, easing some fears of rising food costs.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said a record 77.5 million acres of soybeans were planted through June, up 1.8 million acres from last year. Farmers also planted 87 million acres of corn, up 1 million acres from last year and the second-largest corn acreage in more than 60 years.
The unexpected boost in planting could mean crop supplies won't be as tight this year as many analysts had feared a few months ago. Lower commodity prices would be welcomed by ethanol makers and meat companies that have been stung by higher feed prices over the last two years.