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Possible Change in Planted Acreage

by Mike Austin


Although questions were raised and not everyone was taking the numbers as gospel. Most market analysts and ag economists did feel the USDA"S September Crop Report Numbers were realistic at 13.8 billion bushels for corn and 3.14 bushels for soybeans and built their market strategies accordingly.

Now however some questions are being raised over the latest Farm Service Agency planted acreage figures which are down sized from the NASS numbers. If you follow the reports you know the FSA acreage figures are taken directly from farmers but the FSA only gets reported figures representing a large but incomplete proportion of the expected crop size so differences are expected.

But looking at these numbers, the Farm Service Agency figures show that planted acreage for corn is at least 2 million acres less than the USDA figures and according to Ag Economists like Darrel Good if the revised USDA numbers expected in October confirm the FSA report, than a loss of 2 million planted acres plus at 155 bushels per acre will obviously impact that production figure of 13.8 and the ending stocks projection as well.   

The soybean number although not as dramatic at 800 thousand acres would also also effect soybean stocks which already are forecast at being somewhat tight. And so economists are saying that although it may not change price much, it would support current soybean levels which are at the high end of the USDA estimates. If the USDA does release an updated planted acreage report expect the market to be paying close attention.

Meanwhile the quality of the crop remains fairly stable with 55% of the corn and 50% of the soybeans rated good to excellent, while 16% of the corn and 17% of the soybeans are rated poor to very poor.  

Certainly harvest conditions will continue to play a role in the final size and value of this years crop.