WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- Kansas farmers are planting fewer acres of thirsty crops, such as corn and soybeans, this spring and more acres of drought-tolerant crops like sorghum, Kansas Agricultural Statistics Service reported Thursday.
Overall, Kansas' four major crops account for about 20.7 million acres — unchanged from the previous year — the agency said in its snapshot of prospective plantings.
Corn growers plan to plant 4.6 million acres in Kansas, down 2 percent from last year, but still the fourth largest corn acreage in Kansas since 1936.
Soybean acreage is also expected to shrink 2 percent from last year to 3.9 million acres. It would be the fourth largest soybean acreage in the state's history.
By contrast, sorghum planting in Kansas is expected to climb 16 percent from last year, at 2.9 million acres. That would make it the largest sorghum acreage since 2008, if the forecast pans out.
Wheat accounts for the majority of Kansas farm acreage with 9.3 million acres seeded last fall, down 2 percent.
Growers are expected to sow 92,000 acres into sunflowers. That's up 6 percent from last year, but is still the lowest acreage since 1990. Oil-type varieties account for 65,000 acres of those with confectionary varieties making up the balance.
Prospective plantings of minor Kansas crops included 40,000 acres of cotton, 90,000 acres of oats and 16,000 acres of barley.
Hay intended for harvest was pegged at 2.75 million acres, unchanged from a year ago.