U.S. Department of Agriculture Chief Economist Seth Meyer said Thursday agency estimates show U.S. farm exports will be a record of $157 billion this year, with $31.5 billion of that going to China, also a record. To meet that demand, farmers are expected to plant 92 million acres of corn and 90 million acres of soybeans this year, according to Meyer, speaking at the USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum on Thursday. While the long-term outlook is relatively bullish for U.S. ag commodity demand around the world, variables like the COVID-19 pandemic, fluctuations in grain prices and shifts in global demand will be the primary variables to watch for grain price direction in the next few months, Meyer said. Overall corn and soybean plantings are expected to be the largest since 2016 and 2017, respectively. In all, farmers will plant five percent more acres than they did in 2020. See more from the USDA planting outlook.