USDA Ups Corn Acreage, Drops Wheat & Beans


by Chris Clayton, DTN Ag Policy Editor

WASHINGTON (DTN) — USDA’s prospective planting report on Friday bumped up estimated corn planting this spring by 1.9 million acres from earlier forecasts at the expense of lowering projected acreage for both soybeans and wheat.

The higher corn acreage reflects greater demand as USDA also totaled corn quarterly stocks to 6.01 billion bushels, which is lower than pre-report estimates from analysts.

Friday morning’s USDA reports should be considered bullish for soybeans and wheat and neutral for corn, according to DTN Analyst John Sanow.

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USDA projected farmers will plant 95.9 million acres of corn this spring – the highest acreage level since 1937. In bumping up corn acreage, USDA lowered soybean acreage to 73.9 million acres.

The corn-acreage projection is higher than the average trade predictions, which averaged 94.7 million acres. If the acreage number holds it would be 4{962fe9be9a8a5c386944bfa41f48d98b010325707b70b1fa6182bcabd27c5d7f} higher than 2011.

Soybean acres would be 1.6 million acres below the average market projection of 75.5 million acres and down 1{962fe9be9a8a5c386944bfa41f48d98b010325707b70b1fa6182bcabd27c5d7f} from last year.

Total wheat planted acreage, projected by USDA to be 55.91 million acres, also is forecast 1.7 million acres below the market average of 57.6 million acres. Still, all wheat plantings would be 3{962fe9be9a8a5c386944bfa41f48d98b010325707b70b1fa6182bcabd27c5d7f} higher than 2011 numbers.

Winter wheat planted acres are pegged at 41.71 million acres, up 3{962fe9be9a8a5c386944bfa41f48d98b010325707b70b1fa6182bcabd27c5d7f} from last year, but down 1{962fe9be9a8a5c386944bfa41f48d98b010325707b70b1fa6182bcabd27c5d7f} from earlier estimates. Hard red winter accounts for 29.2 million acres while 8.4 million acres are soft red winter.

Spring wheat is forecast at 11.98 million acres, down 3{962fe9be9a8a5c386944bfa41f48d98b010325707b70b1fa6182bcabd27c5d7f} from 2011. Durum is projected at 2.22 million acres, a 62{962fe9be9a8a5c386944bfa41f48d98b010325707b70b1fa6182bcabd27c5d7f} rise from 2011.

“A volatile day is in store for grains after USDA numbers came well off the mark from pre-report estimates. Corn acreage came in well above expectations, while beans and wheat came in well below,” Sanow said. “Now, the question is how much was built into the corn market already with the December contract losing almost 50 cents since last week. On the other hand, November beans could explode to the upside offsetting any bearish enthusiasm associated with the largest corn acreage number since 1937’s 97.2 million acres.”


Corn: USDA lowered its quarterly stocks for corn to 6.01 billion bushels, down 8{962fe9be9a8a5c386944bfa41f48d98b010325707b70b1fa6182bcabd27c5d7f} from 2011 levels and below pre-report estimates. This puts corn at the lowest stock levels for the second quarter since 6.06 billion bushels was reported in 2006-07. On-farm stocks are projected at 2.82 billion bushels, down 10{962fe9be9a8a5c386944bfa41f48d98b010325707b70b1fa6182bcabd27c5d7f} from a year ago.

Soybeans: Stocks for soybeans came in at 1.37 billion bushels, up 10{962fe9be9a8a5c386944bfa41f48d98b010325707b70b1fa6182bcabd27c5d7f} from a year ago and just slightly lower than pre-report estimates of 1.38 billion bushels. On-farm stocks are estimated at 555 million bushels, up 10{962fe9be9a8a5c386944bfa41f48d98b010325707b70b1fa6182bcabd27c5d7f} from 2011.

Wheat: All wheat positions total 1.2 billion bushels, down 16{962fe9be9a8a5c386944bfa41f48d98b010325707b70b1fa6182bcabd27c5d7f} from 2011. Pre-report estimates had pegged those stocks at 1.235 billion bushels.

“The quarterly stocks report should be considered bullish for corn, beans and wheat,” Sanow said. “Quarterly demand for corn and beans both came in well above the five-year average, not all that surprising given the bullish commercial outlook indicated by the inverted May-to-July corn spread and weak carry in the May-to-July bean spread. Quarterly use in wheat came in below expectations, but supplies for the last quarter remain comfortable, historically speaking.”


Corn: The big acreage shift in corn comes from North Dakota where USDA forecasts a 1.17-million-acre jump from 2011, or 52{962fe9be9a8a5c386944bfa41f48d98b010325707b70b1fa6182bcabd27c5d7f} Minnesota also is projected to boost its corn planting by 600,000 acres and Iowa is projected to increase corn planting by 500,000 acres. Nebraska will see a 450,000 acre increase and Ohio will increase acreage 400,000 acres.

Soybeans: The move in Iowa to corn translates into a projected 550,000 acre decline in Iowa soybean acreages, a 6{962fe9be9a8a5c386944bfa41f48d98b010325707b70b1fa6182bcabd27c5d7f} decline from 2011. Missouri will lower its acres by 250,000 while Indiana and Minnesota each show 200,000-acre declines. Both North and South Dakota are projected to increase soybean plantings by 200,000 acres each.

Wheat: The biggest boost in wheat plantings comes from a 950,000-acre increase in North Dakota and a 700,000 acre increase in Kansas. Texas also is projected to increased planted acres by 500,000.


Cotton acres are expected to be 13.2 million acres, down 11{962fe9be9a8a5c386944bfa41f48d98b010325707b70b1fa6182bcabd27c5d7f} from last year.

Hay will be harvested on 57.34 million acres, a 3{962fe9be9a8a5c386944bfa41f48d98b010325707b70b1fa6182bcabd27c5d7f} increase from last year, primarily due to some recovery of drought acreage in Texas.

Sorghum will be planted on 5.95 million acres, a 9{962fe9be9a8a5c386944bfa41f48d98b010325707b70b1fa6182bcabd27c5d7f} increase from 2011, mainly due to a 29{962fe9be9a8a5c386944bfa41f48d98b010325707b70b1fa6182bcabd27c5d7f} increase in Texas.

Barley acres will be 3.33 million acres, up 30{962fe9be9a8a5c386944bfa41f48d98b010325707b70b1fa6182bcabd27c5d7f} from 2011 acreage. North Dakota will see barley planting at 980,000 acres, up from 400,000 acres a year ago.

Rice plantings will be 2.56 million acres, down 5{962fe9be9a8a5c386944bfa41f48d98b010325707b70b1fa6182bcabd27c5d7f} from 2011.

Canola acres will be 1.557 million acres, a 45{962fe9be9a8a5c386944bfa41f48d98b010325707b70b1fa6182bcabd27c5d7f} increase over 2011.

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Posted with DTN Permission by Haylie Shipp


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