TODAY ON AGDAY
APRIL 2, 2012
Good morning I’m Clinton Griffiths. If USDA is correct with its newest data - it was before World War II when American farmers planted so much corn. USDA released its annual prospective plantings report and it pegs the 2012 corn crop at just under 96 million acres. If realized, this will be the largest corn acreage in the U.S. since 1937. That year, farmers planted 97.2 million acres.
USDA pegs corn at just under 96 million acres versus 92 last year. For soy - just 74 million compared to just under 75 million last year. All wheat acres came in at 56 million after 54.5 million last year.
Brown says above normal temperatures and sunshine most of last week pushed more farmers to start planting. The forecast shows the same for this week. Brown says if it stays dry, many farmers in central Illinois could be done planting by April 10th. But, if there's a late frost many of those early acres could be damaged, cutting into already tight seed supplies...forcing farmers to switch to soybeans.
SATE BY STATE:
Illinois is the only state rushing to get corn in the ground. USDA says Iowa farmers could plant a record number of corn acres at 14.6 million. The largest year over year increase is expected in North Dakota. Farmers are projected to plant 3.5 million, up 52% from last year's flood-impacted growing season. South Dakota is projected up 5% and Minnesota farmers expect to plant 7% more corn.
PRO FARMER REACTION:
As always, our reporting partners at Pro Farmer newsletter have been analyzing the reports. Editor Chip Flory says those add acres bode well for high national yields.
USDA also expects fewer cotton acres will be planted this year. The Ag Department puts the crop at 13.2 million acres, down 11% from last year. USDA says heavy precipitation has delayed fieldwork in many areas.
The other big story was grains stocks as of March first. Many market watchers were puzzled about possible wheat substitution for feed use. It appears we chewed up plenty of both, as all reported stocks were below expectations...sending markets soaring on Friday in spite of planted acre numbers. These are the inventory numbers: corn - 6 billion bushels, about 150 million below expectations. Soybeans – 1.3 billion, right in the middle of the range of guesses. Wheat was unsurprising as well 1.2 billion bushels.
In news from our reporting partners at Dairy Today - USDA announced that the government will be making a milk income loss contract payment - the first since April 2010. USDA says it will pay 39-cents per hundredweight for February milk production. The University of Wisconsin estimates USDA will be making MILC payments now through September, based on current futures prices. To be eligible for payment, producers must sign up on or before the 14th of the preceding month. Eligible annual milk production is 2,985,000 pounds. Once a producer signs up, payments will be made until the eligible annual milk production level is reached. The March payment is estimated at 59-cents, 89-cents in April and 59-cents in May. To see the other estimated payments over the next six months, go to www.dairytoday.com.
DICKRELL DAIRY PROGRAMS:
We talked with dairy today Editor Jim Dickrell about the MILC payments. He says in the current atmosphere in Washington regarding the farm bill, there's a good chance that this version of dairy farm support will go away.