Market expectation of an increase in bean acres and a drop in corn plantings emerged last fall based on the tough financial conditions of the ag industry – it costs less to grow an acre of soybeans than it does an acre of corn. And as we get closer to the March 29 Prospective Plantings Report from USDA, momentum is building behind those expectations. Jerry Gidel from PRICE Futures Group told host Chip Flory on Thursday’s AgriTalk After the Bell that he anticipates 2018 corn plantings of 85.55 million acres, down about 1.6 million acres from last year. For soybeans, Gidel anticipates plantings of 91.05 million acres, up nearly 910,000 from last year.
USDA will also release the March 1 stocks of corn, soybeans and wheat on March 29. In that report, Gidel says he expects the corn stocks data to be the most interesting as indications are this year’s feed use could be running higher than USDA has estimates. On corn-for-ethanol use, “They could bump that useage estimate up a bit, too,” says Gidel.