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Corn Planted Acreage Down 2 Percent from 2014
Soybean Acreage Up 2 Percent
All Wheat Acreage Down 1 Percent
All Cotton Acreage Down 18 Percent
Corn planted area for all purposes in 2015 is estimated at 88.9 million
acres, down 2 percent from last year. This represents the lowest planted
acreage in the in the United States since 2010.
Soybean planted area for 2015 is estimated at a record high 85.1 million
acres, up 2 percent from last year. Area for harvest, at 84.4 million acres,
is also up 2 percent from 2014 and will be record high, if realized. Record
high planted acreage is estimated in Kentucky, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania,
All wheat planted area for 2015 is estimated at 56.1 million acres, down
1 percent from 2014. The 2015 winter wheat planted area, at 40.6 million
acres, is down 4 percent from last year and down less than 1 percent from the
previous estimate. Of this total, about 29.6 million acres are Hard Red
Winter, 7.61 million acres are Soft Red Winter, and 3.44 million acres are
White Winter. Area planted to other spring wheat for 2015 is estimated at
13.5 million acres, up 4 percent from 2014. Of this total, about 12.6 million
acres are Hard Red Spring wheat. Durum planted area for 2015 is estimated at
1.95 million acres, up 40 percent from the previous year.
Corn: The 2015 corn planted area for all purposes is estimated at
88.9 million acres, down 2 percent from last year. This represents the lowest
planted acreage in the United States since 2010. Growers expect to harvest
81.1 million acres for grain, down 2 percent from last year. Farmers
responding to the survey indicated that 98 percent of the intended corn
acreage had been planted at the time of the interview, the same as the
Planted acreage for 2015 is at the same level or down across most of the Corn
Belt with the exception of Wisconsin, which increased planted acreage from
By April 19, producers had planted 9 percent of the Nation's corn crop. This
was 3 percentage points ahead of last year but 4 points behind the 5-year
average. Improved fieldwork conditions facilitated rapid planting progress,
particularly in Illinois and Minnesota, and by April 26 producers had planted
19 percent of the Nation's corn crop. This was 2 percentage points ahead of
2014 but still 6 points behind the 5-year average.
Good fieldwork conditions continued through the beginning of May, with
producers planting 55 percent of this year's corn crop by May 3, twenty-seven
percentage points ahead of last year and 17 percentage points ahead of the
5-year average. The rapid planting progress during this one week period tied
the third-highest National weekly planting progress week on record. Planting
progress advanced more than 40 percentage points in Iowa, Minnesota,
Missouri, Nebraska, and North Dakota during this week. By May 10, producers
had planted 75 percent of the Nation's corn crop, 20 percentage points ahead
of 2014 and 18 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average. States in the
eastern Corn Belt that had previously lagged in planting progress experienced
excellent conditions for fieldwork. By May 10, emergence had advanced to
29 percent complete, 13 percentage points ahead of last year and 5 points
ahead of the 5-year average.
By May 17, the majority of the Nation's corn crop, 56 percent, had emerged.
This was 24 percentage points ahead of 2014 and 16 points ahead of the 5-year
average. By May 24, ninety-two percent of the 2015 corn crop was planted,
6 percentage points ahead of 2014 and 4 points ahead of the 5-year average.
Nationally, 74 percent of this year's corn crop was emerged by this time,
with 74 percent of the corn crop reported in good to excellent condition.
By the end of May, at least 90 percent of the corn had emerged in Illinois,
Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Overall, 74 percent of the
corn crop was reported in good to excellent condition, 2 percentage points
below the same time last year.
Soybeans: The 2015 soybean planted area is estimated at a record high
85.1 million acres, up 2 percent from last year. Compared with last year,
planted acreage is up or unchanged in 20 of the 31 major producing States.
Increases of 200,000 acres or more are anticipated in Illinois, Indiana,
Minnesota, and Tennessee. Area for harvest, at 84.4 million acres, is up
2 percent from 2014 and will be a record high by nearly 1.4 million acres, if
Planting of the 2015 soybean crop started off the month of May ahead of the
normal pace, estimated at 13 percent complete by May 3, eight percentage
points ahead of last year and 4 percentage points ahead of the 5-year
average. Good fieldwork conditions especially benefited the upper Midwest
with planting progress in Minnesota 25 percentage points and North Dakota
11 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average on May 3. By May 24,
producers had planted 61 percent of this year's soybean crop, 6 percentage
points ahead of both last year and the 5-year average. Thirty-two percent of
the soybean crop was emerged by May 24, nine percentage points ahead of last
year and 7 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average. In Minnesota,
49 percent of the soybean crop was emerged by May 24, thirty-four percentage
points-or about 10 days-ahead of the 5-year average. By May 31,
seventy-one percent of the Nation's soybean crop was planted, 4 percentage
points behind last year but slightly ahead of the 5-year average. By the end
of the month, wet conditions slowed the planting pace in the central
United States, with planting progress 42 percentage points behind the 5-year
average in Kansas and 34 percentage points behind in Missouri.
Nationally, 49 percent of the soybean crop was emerged by May 31,
three percentage points ahead of last year and 4 percentage points ahead of
the 5-year average. Seventy-five percent of the Nation's soybeans were
emerged by June 14, six percentage points behind last year and 2 percentage
points behind the 5-year average. Emergence progress was 17 percentage points
ahead of the 5-year average on June 14 in Wisconsin, but 37 percentage points
or more behind the 5-year average in Kansas and Missouri.
Producers planted 94 percent of the 2015 soybean acreage to herbicide
resistant seed varieties, unchanged from 2014.
Winter wheat: The 2015 winter wheat planted area is estimated at 40.6 million
acres, down less than 1 percent from the previous estimate and down 4 percent
from last year. States with notable acreage increases from the previous
estimate are Alabama and Texas. Of the total acreage, about 29.6 million
acres are Hard Red Winter, 7.61 million acres are Soft Red Winter, and
3.44 million are White Winter.
Area harvested for grain is forecast at 33.3 million acres, down 2 percent
from the previous forecast but up 3 percent from last year. Harvested acres
are down from last year in the Northern Great Plains due to dry conditions.
Conversely, increases from last year are expected in Montana and the
Survey procedures: The estimates of planted and harvested acreages in this
report are based primarily on surveys conducted the first 2 weeks of June.
These surveys are based on a probability area frame survey with a sample of
approximately 11,000 segments or parcels of land (average approximately 1
square mile) and a probability sample of over 70,000 farm operators.
Enumerators conducting the area survey contact all farmers having operations
within the sampled segments of land and account for their operations. From
these data, estimates can be calculated. The list survey sample is contacted
by mail, internet, telephone, or personal interviews to obtain information on
these operations. Responses from the list sample plus data from the area
operations that were not on the list to be sampled are combined to provide
another estimate of planted and harvested acreages.
Estimating procedures: National, Regional, State, and grower reported data
were reviewed for reasonableness and consistency with historical estimates.
Each Regional Office submits their analysis of the current situation to the
Agricultural Statistics Board (ASB). Survey data are compiled to the National
level and are reviewed at this level independently of each State's review.
Acreage estimates were based on survey data and the historical relationship
of official estimates to survey data.
Revision policy: Estimates of planted acres for spring planted crops are
subject to revision in the August Crop Production report if conditions
altered the planting intentions since the mid-year survey. Planted acres may
also be revised for cotton, peanuts, and rice in the September Crop
Production report each year; spring wheat, Durum wheat, barley, and oats only
in the Small Grains Annual report at the end of September; and all other
spring planted crops in the October Crop Production report. Revisions to
planted acres will only be made when either special survey data,
administrative data, such as Farm Service Agency program "sign up" data, or
remote sensing data are available. Harvested acres may be revised any time a
production forecast is made if there is strong evidence that the intended
harvested area has changed since the last forecast.
Reliability: The survey used to make acreage estimates is subject to sampling
and non-sampling type errors that are common to all surveys. Both types of
errors for major crops generally are between 1.0 and 6.0 percent. Sampling
errors represent the variability between estimates that would result if many
different samples were surveyed at the same time. Sampling errors cannot be
applied directly to the acreage published in this report to determine
confidence intervals since the official estimates represent a composite of
information from more than a single source. The relative standard errors from
the 2015 area frame survey for United States planted acres were: barley
8.9 percent, corn 1.1 percent, Upland cotton 3.4 percent, sorghum
4.8 percent, soybeans 1.1 percent, other spring wheat 3.8 percent, and winter
wheat 1.9 percent.
The biotechnology estimates are also subject to sampling variability because
all operations planting biotech varieties are not included in the sample. The
variability for the 48 corn States, as measured by the relative standard
error at the United States level, is approximately 0.3 percent for all
biotech varieties, 5.9 percent for insect resistant (Bt) only varieties,
3.2 percent for herbicide resistant only varieties, and 0.6 percent for
stacked gene varieties. This means that chances are approximately 95 out of
100 that survey estimates will be within plus or minus 0.6 percent for all
biotech varieties, 11.8 percent for insect resistant (Bt) varieties,
6.4 percent for herbicide resistant varieties, and 1.2 percent for stacked
gene varieties. Variability for the 31 soybean States is approximately
0.3 percent for herbicide resistant varieties. Variability for the 17 Upland
cotton States is approximately 0.8 percent for all biotech varieties,
21.4 percent for insect resistant (Bt) varieties, 12.8 percent for herbicide
resistant varieties, and 11.6 percent for stacked gene varieties.
Non-sampling errors cannot be measured directly. They may occur due to
incorrect reporting and/or recording, data omissions or duplications, and
errors in processing. To minimize non-sampling errors, vigorous quality
controls are used in the data collection process and all data are carefully
reviewed for consistency and reasonableness.
A method of evaluating the reliability of acreage estimates in this report is
the "Root Mean Square Error," a statistical measure based on past
performances shown below for selected crops. This is computed by expressing
the deviations between the planted acreage estimates and the final estimates
as a percent of the final estimates and averaging the squared percentage
deviations for the 1995-2014 twenty-year period; the square root of this
average becomes statistically the "Root Mean Square Error." Probability
statements can be made concerning expected differences in the current
estimates relative to the final estimates assuming that factors affecting
this year's estimate are not different from those influencing the past
For example, the "Root Mean Square Error" for the corn planted estimate is
0.9 percent. This means that chances are 2 out of 3 that the current corn
acreage will not be above or below the final estimate by more than
0.9 percent. Chances are 9 out of 10 (90 percent confidence level) that the
difference will not exceed 1.6 percent.
Also, shown in the table is a 20-year record for selected crops of the
difference between the mid-year planted acres estimate and the final
estimates. Using corn again as an example, changes between the mid-year
estimates and the final estimates during the past 20 years have averaged
633,000 acres, ranging from 28,000 acres to 2.01 million acres. The mid-year
planted acres have been below the final estimate 4 times and above 16 times.
This does not imply that the mid-year planted estimate this year is likely to
understate or overstate the final estimate.
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