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Crop Comments and Acreage Report for 6/30/15

Published on: 16:49PM Jun 30, 2015
 

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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, 
and Wisconsin.

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.

Crop Comments

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 
10-year average.

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 
2014.

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 
realized.

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 
Northwest.

Statistical Methodology

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 
20 years.

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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