Guess How Many Acres Analysts Expect to See in Thursday's USDA Report?

June 29, 2016 07:00 AM
Guess How Many Acres Analysts Expect to See in Thursday's USDA Report?

Traders are looking for a surge in soybean acreage and a decrease in corn plantings in Thursday’s USDA reports.  Here’s what they expect to see in the Acreage report and the quarterly Grain Stocks numbers, which will also be released June 30.


Traders are guessing USDA will reduce corn acres by 705,000 acres for an average trade estimate of 92.896 million acres, compared with USDA’s March 31 estimates of 93.601 million acres of corn. Additionally, traders predict that U.S. corn stocks of June 1 will be down more than 3 billion bushels to a total of 4.528 billion bushels, compared with the USDA March grain stocks of 7.808 billion bushels of corn.


Traders are expecting farmers to have planted 1.596 million more soybean acres this spring for a total of 83.834 million acres, compared with the 82.236 million acres USDA predicted in March’s Prospective Plantings report. And traders peg June 1 soybean stocks at 829 million bushels, well below the 1.531 million bushels in the March USDA grain stocks report.  


Traders expect all wheat acreage of 49.869 million, an increase of some 270 million acres over the USDA March estimate of 49.599 million acres. All wheat stocks were estimated at 982 million bushels, compared with 1.372 million bushels USDA estimated in March.

Different Analysts, Different Forecasts

Everyone, of course, has their own forecasts on exact numbers, even if they agree on the general trend towards more soybean acres driven by soaring prices.

Analysts at Allendale, for example, expect corn acreage of 93.399 million, soybean acreage of 82.976 million, and total wheat acreage of 50.036 million, which are all higher than the average trade estimate.

Meanwhile, Terry Roggensack of The Hightower Report forecast an increase in soybean acreage of 2.5 million to total of 84.7 million acres, which would be well above the average trade’s estimate.

“We believe that this rally (for soybean prices) encouraged growers to switch some of their planted area to soybeans and away from other crops,” Roggensack wrote in a report.

On the other hand, analysts at Roach Ag Marketing in Boca Raton, Fla., are looking for total soybean acreage of 83.48 million, corn acreage of 92.46 million and unchanged total wheat acreage.

Even though there has been “a migration away from corn acres to bean acres,” the firm’s survey of 2,100 samples in 14 states showed it was not as high as some analyst’s estimates, according to Roach Ag Marketing President Brian Roach.

Roach pointed out that before the soybean rally in March, corn was the more profitable crop, and farmers had planned to plant 1 million more corn acres.

Another factor is the trend that “rotational production is more mainstream, and there is not as much flexibility” to change input decisions, Roach explained.

What do you expect USDA to say on Thursday? Did you make any adjustments to your planting intentions this spring? Let us know in the comments.

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