USDA: High Corn Acres Blow Away Analysts


By Chris Clayton, DTN Ag Policy Editor and Linda H. Smith, DTN Markets Editor

WASHINGTON, DC (DTN) — USDA reported corn planted acres at an astounding 92.28 million acres, up 5{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2} from last year, or 4 million acres more planted despite adverse weather conditions that delayed planting or frustrated farmers all spring.

All other major crops are down from last year, with the exception of cotton, which is estimated at a hefty 25{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2} above last year.

Corn stocks in all positions exceeded trade estimates, while the other crops were within expected ranges. March-May corn disappearance dropped 60 million bushels from the same period last year, suggesting that some rationing has occurred.


USDA reported corn planted acres at 92.28 million acres, up 5{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2} from last year, or 4 million acres more planted, despite the rainfall, floods and droughts that hampered spring field progress. USDA stated this year is the second-largest corn planting since 1944 with only the 2007 planted acres being higher.

USDA’s corn acreage blew away analyst estimates that had averaged 90.77 million acres with market projections ranging from 89.5 million acres to 91.5 million.

USDA estimates 84.88 million acres of corn will be harvested, up 3.44 million acres from last year and 92{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2} of planted.

States with major bumps in corn acres from last year included Nebraska with 850,000 more acres; Iowa with 800,000 more acres; South Dakota up 650,000 acres; and Minnesota with 400,000 more acres planted, according to the report.


Soybean acres are estimated at 75.2 million acres, down 2.2 million acres or 3{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2} from last year. The soybean acreage estimate also is about 1.3 million fewer than market observers had pegged. The market projections average had soybeans at about 76.5 million acres, with a range from 75.5-77.19 million acres.

USDA estimated 74.25 million acres of soybeans will be harvested, down 2.35 million acres from 2010’s harvested crop.


All wheat area planted is estimated at 56.4 million acres, up 5{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2} from 2010. Yet that number also is down from USDA’s earlier forecast of 57.7 million acres for wheat. The planted wheat number is just slightly lower than the 56.67-million-acre analyst average.

While USDA set planted acres at 2.8 million acres higher than 2010, the harvest forecast is 47.17 million acres, which is 463,000 acres lower than the 2010 harvest. The three major winter wheat states — Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas — all were forecast with declines in winter wheat harvested acres.

Despite major concerns about spring wheat acres, USDA forecast acreage at 13.62 million acres, down just 71,000 acres from 2010 numbers.


All cotton planted acres are estimated at 13.7 million acre, up 25{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2} from last year. Upland cotton is projected at 13.4 million acres, also up 25{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2} from 2010. The acreage numbers come in slightly higher than the average market estimate of 13.26 million acres.


Rice took a major hit in planting with acreage for all varieties forecast at 2.67 million acres, down 960,000 acres from 2010 planting. Arkansas, inundated with flooding, reflects a 620,000 acreage decline from last year.


Corn stocks in all positions on June 1, 2011 totaled 3.67 billion bushels, down 15{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2} from the same time last year. Farmers have reduced holdings more than commercials: On-farm stocks are down 21{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2} from last year, at 1.68 billion. Off-farm stocks, at 1.99 billion, are down 9{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2}. The March-May indicated disappearance is 2.85 billion bushels, compared with 3.38 billion last year, USDA reported.

The stocks figure is higher than trade expectations, which ranged from 2.998 to 3.515 billion.

Soybean stocks are 8{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2} higher than a year ago, at 619 million bushels. Again, farmers took advantage of higher prices, moving more supplies to commercial hands. On-farm stocks are down 218 million bushels or 6{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2} from 2010, while off-farm stocks, at 401 million, are up 19{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2} from a year ago.

Stocks in all positions are within the trade range of 0.549 to 0.632, but above the average expectation of 0.596.

All wheat stocks totaled 861 million bushels, down 12{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2} from a year ago. On-farm stocks are estimated at 131 million bushels, down 38{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2}, a much greater reduction than seen in off-farm stocks, which are down only 5{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2}, at 730 million bushels.

The total stocks figure is close to the trade average estimate of 0.826 (range 0.791 to 0.878).

Grain sorghum stocks came in at 0.08 billion bushels, down 9{dfeadfe70caf58f453a47791a362966239aaa64624c42b982d70b175f7e3dda2} from a year earlier, and at the low end of trade expectations, which ranged from 0.08 to 0.92. Farms held 3.14 million, only about a third of what they had last year (10.7); off-farm stocks, at 76.918 million, are down marginally from last year’s 77.162 million.

Report Links:

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For World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE):

Chris Clayton can be reached at

Linda Smith can be reached at


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Posted with DTN Permission by Haylie Shipp.


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