Wheat crop smallest since 1971

Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Farmers planted 41 million acres of wheat this winter, the smallest acreage since 1971 and a slight decrease from the year before, the government said Friday.

Farmers produced 9.5 billion bushels of corn, 4 percent less than the year before, but still the fourth largest crop on record. The soybean crop was the biggest ever at 2.9 billion bushels, an increase of 5 percent over 2000.

A 1996 law that ended most controls on farm production spurred farmers to cut back on wheat in favor of more lucrative crops such as soybeans.

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