Although USDA’s recent Prospective Plantings report indicated a shift to soybeans across much of the central U.S., producers are very nimble when it comes to changing based on weather and economic conditions, experts tell the U.S. Farm Report Market Roundtable.
"This is kind of a moving target," notes Chris Barron, Carson & Barron Farms, Inc. of Iowa. "We’re all going to have to stay tuned in the next four weeks, and I think it’s going to be interesting because there are a lot of producers who I think are planning on going with the existing plan.
"However, if we warm up say in the next two weeks, it’s pretty easy for farmers to throw in another 10% of corn, they can plant another 10% in a day. We proved last year that we can plant a crop if we’re pushed against the wall. We can put this crop in in five to seven days if we need to. So I think until we get a little further along, it’s going to be real difficult to tell, but I think a lot of it has to do with the economics and the timing."
In reality, debating about whether farmers will plant more corn or beans is silly, adds Tommy Grisafi of Advance Trading. It’s possible that overall acreage will be higher than reported in March, given that acreage has been higher in USDA’s June report in 11 of the past 14 years.
"We are now 15 cents higher in corn than where we were a week ago," Grisafi says. "We’re 15 cents higher in November 2014 beans. So for the American farmer, that’s a good thing. It wasn’t a dramatic report, but it was good that the prices are going up. We all know, sitting here today, that about 98% of all the corn and soybean seeds are sitting in a shed."
Grisafi thinks the acreage report felt a little light, pointing out uncertainty over what will happen to the many prevent plant acres left untouched in 2013.
"Are they not going to be replanted?" he says. "Some people say they’re hiding in hay, and it gets a little complicated."
The real story in soybeans right now is the new crop, Barron concludes.
"Last year, we had basically nothing marketed," he explains. "This year, guys are actually starting to make some sales on the new-crop side of things. If the opportunity is there, and it looks like a lot of these acres are going to shift over to beans, I think we need to be real cognizant of what could happen to the market if the bean acres get planted."
Click the play button below to watch the complete U.S. Farm Report Market Roundtable. The discussion begins at the 7:20 mark: