Have Farmers Lost Trust In USDA?

10:35AM Jun 30, 2011
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This morning’s acreage reports have farmers across the country scratching their heads, many losing faith in USDA’s accuracy.
The reports, developed from an early June survey, reveled the corn planted area for all purposes in 2011 is estimated at 92.3 million acres, up 5 percent from last year, and the second highest planted acreage in the United States since 1944, behind only the 93.5 million acres planted in 2007. In preparation for the reports, a discussion board thread was started on AGWEB.com early this morning.
"I just threw my rose colored glasses into the trash compactor. Just when I thought we might be able to start trusting USDA to get it right they throw us an out of the ball park corn acres number," wrote BinswOH, an avid AGWEB.com user. "92.3 million acres of corn planted? Are they using estimated seed sales and forgetting to back out the seed sold for replant? Or are they assuming they will make it up by lowering the average acre yield to 150? I have too many questions after reading the report this morning."
The USDA estimates corn acreage in Ohio and the Dakotas to have increased over last year as well. Many farmers across the country are wondering how this could be true.
"Maybe my eyes aren't working right but it looks like more acres than last year in Ohio and the Dakotas," wrote iaDave, corn farmer and discussion board enthusiast. "I just don't see how that can be from what I have heard."
The developing flood situation in the stacked northern states is far from over which is causing farmers disdain in regards to the accuracy of acreage numbers released by USDA for the Dakotas this morning.
"I'm pretty sure they are smoking their socks on the Dakota’s," Iowa55 says. "I was up there two and a half weeks ago and most of the acres that were planted just are not going to make anything in South Dakota. Not all acres were bad but 75 percent were hurt and 25 percent were as good as failed."
What crops have been planted are not likely to make decent yields because of the excess water that is destined to reach fields throughout North Dakota and South Dakota as the snow pack melts this summer.
While many farmers in Ohio planted more corn later than originally anticipated, growing a good crop in the region is hopeful at best.
"Many acres were planted just because of the crop insurance guarantees, with no real hopes of a harvest or proper fertilizer program," wrote one frequent user, Iowa55, concerning the Ohio crop. "But the acres will count in June, they just will never amount to much or be harvested."
Regardless of the perceived inaccuracies of the today’s reports the markets will react in line with the acreage and stock numbers released by the government agency.
"For today’s trade we are going to trade dramatically lower corn is 40 to 50 cents lower in the over the counter market," says Tommi Grasafi of Indiana Grain Company.
With regard the accuracy of the bearish report Grasafi says that it is a government report but things are likely to change. The price of corn is being driven by the report this morning and will likely continue on that path until the conversation turns to weather over the weekend.