Allendale: Acres Swing Heavy to Corn

12:20PM Mar 18, 2020
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In 2019, U.S. farmers planted a 91.7 million acres. Expect that number to grow by nearly 3 million acres this year, according to Allendale.
( AgWeb )

In 2019, U.S. farmers planted a 91.7 million acres. Expect that number to grow by nearly 3 million acres this year, according to Allendale’s annual nationwide producer survey.

“Almost everyone wants to plant a little more corn,” says Rich Nelson, chief strategist with Allendale. “Higher-than expected corn acres is what producers told us. For soybeans, we saw a little less than we expected on this report.”

For 2020, Allendale estimates:

Corn acres: 94.63 million acres, which is up 4.9 million from 2019

“This estimate of 94.6 million corn acres would be the third highest of all time; the 2012 peak was 97.291 million acres,” Nelson says.

The Allendale survey showed increases in all major corn-producing states, except Nebraska and Kansas. 

Allendale’s corn production estimate would imply an increase over 2019 of 1.68 billion bushels. That 2020 production of 15.37 billion would be a record.

Soybean acres: 83.74 million acres, up 7.6 million from 2019

This would be the third-largest acreage total, 6.4 million off the 2017 peak of 90.16. 

“In soybeans we really need the acres, assuming China does buy in accordance to the agreement we have in place right now,” he says.

Allendale’s 4.16 billion production estimate would be the fourth largest in history.

Wheat acres: 44.47 million acres, down 693,000 from 2019

This is the lowest in history for the all-wheat data set that USDA started in 1919. Assuming normal abandonment and trend yields, Allendale’s production estimate of 1.87 billion is 46 million under last year.

At the Agricultural Outlook Forum in late February, USDA shared these estimates:

  • Corn: 94 million acres
  • Soybeans: 85 million acres
  • Wheat: 45 million acres

How Many Unplanted Acres from 2019 Are Planted in 2020?

Total acres of corn, soybeans and wheat tallied 211 million in 2019, which was down 14.9 million acres form 2018’s 225.9 million. 

The question, Nelson says, is: How much of last year’s planting deficit will we get back this year? Allendale’s current estimate would put corn, soybean and wheat acres at a total of 222.8 million for 2020.

“We do project we’ll be a little short versus the 2018 planting number,” Nelson says. “Now keep in mind people mistakenly believe acreage is fixed. It is not; acres flow into and out of production based on profitability and many other factors. In general, the concerns about farm profitability in the past four years have led to an acreage decline. The question is: What is the size of the acreage decline?”  

The national survey from Allendale, a Chicago area agricultural commodity brokerage and analysis firm, was conducted March 1-13, 2020 and includes data from 30 states. 

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