USDA Report: 'Write these Numbers with a Pencil, Not a Pen"

12:11PM Mar 31, 2020
USDA Report
USDA Report
( MGN Online )

In Tuesday’s Prospective Planting report from USDA, corn and soybean acres are both expected to jump from 2019 levels. Last year’s prevent plant undoubtedly had an impact on states that will be up in total planted acres.

Wheat is expected to hit its lowest all-wheat planted area since 1919. Cotton is also down compared to 2019.

Here’s a look at the numbers:

  • Corn: 97 million acres, up 7.29 million acres or 8% from 2019
  • Soybeans: 83.5 million acres, up 10% over last year
  • Wheat: 44.7 million acres, down 1% from 2019
    • Winter wheat: 30.8 million acres, down 1% from last year
    • Spring wheat: 12.6 million acres, down 1% from 2019
  • Cotton: 13.7 million acres, down less than 1% compared to last year
    • Upland-: 3.5 million acres
    • American Pima: 228,000 acres

Corn acreage intentions are up or unchanged in 38 of the 48 estimating states. If realized, the planted area of corn in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada and Oregon will be the largest on record.

“Corn acres are coming in above the trade guess,” says Garrett Toay of Ag Trader Talk. “The last day of the survey was just after a spike in corn. When the majority were surveyed… basis was firmer. These numbers are something you write with a pencil, not pen.”

One of Toay’s biggest concerns is these numbers don’t take into account recent ethanol production changes.

If soybean acres hit 83.5 million acres, it will be the third highest planted acreage on record. Compared with last year, planted acreage is expected to be up or unchanged in 22 of the 29 states estimated.

When it comes to actual planting decisions, Matt Bennett with AgMarket.net says it will all come down to the bottom line.

“Price still matters,” he says. “With crop insurance price being more than a dime below last year, even though we’re getting a lit bit of backing off of fertilizer and diesel fuel prices I don’t think guys will be super excited on fringe or marginal acres.”

USDA also released the quarterly Grain Stocks report, which details on-farm and off-farm stocks as of March 1. Key numbers include:

  • Corn stocks totaled 7.95 billion bushels, down 8% from the same time last year. On-farm corn stocks were down 13% from a year ago, but off-farm stocks were up less than 1%.
  • Soybeans stored totaled 2.25 billion bushels, down 17% from a year ago. On-farm soybean stocks were down 20% from a year ago, while off-farm stocks were down 15%.
  • All wheat stored totaled 1.41 billion bushels, down 11% from a year ago. On-farm all wheat stocks went down 8% from last year, while off-farm stocks went down 12%.

Read more here:

Planting Intentions: 97 Million Acres Corn, 83.5 Million Acres Soy

Farm Journal Live: Sorting Through Planting Intentions