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Gulke’s Pre-Game Picks for the Planting Report

March 24, 2013
By: Sara Schafer, Farm Journal Media Business and Crops Editor

Farmers have their own version of March madness next week. Jerry Gulke shares his predictions for USDA’s Prospective Plantings report.

AcreagePieChartThe countdown is on to USDA’s Prospective Plantings report, which will be released March 28 at 11 a.m. Will we have another record-breaking year for total acres planted? Which crop will win the battle?

Jerry Gulke, president of the Gulke Group, says he’s predicting just as many or more corn and soybean acres this year.

But, he expects some shifts to occur, especially in areas that were hit hard by the drought last year. "I would expect some changes from corn-on-corn to back to a corn-soy rotation," he says.

The weather now and through planting season will be a major factor, as always, especially now that weather patterns are finally starting to shift. "A month ago we were talking about how dry it was going to be forever and ever and now we’re worried about getting our crops in the ground east of the Mississippi River," Gulke says. "My how the times have changed."

Official Acreage Estimates

(in million acres)

Informa Allendale Actual 2012
Corn 96.5 97.7 96.9 97.2
Soybeans 77.5 78.5 78.3 77.2
All Wheat 56.0 56.0 56.2 55.7
Cotton 9.8 10.4 N/A 12.3


Gulke says that based on Informa’s predictions, it expects the recent run up in beans and drop in corn will chase some of those acres back to beans.

The industry chatter, Gulke says, is that with the recent price improvement for cotton, maybe cotton acres won’t decrease as drastically as predicted earlier this year. But, he believes the number will still be down, and whatever acres don’t go to cotton will go to corn. "Corn is cheaper to plant than cotton."

Price Implications

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