Market News & Headlines >> Big Acreage to Boost Corn, Soy Output

The stage appears set for another year of large U.S. corn and soybean production with soybean plantings record large and corn plantings the largest in three years, according to the annual Crop Acreage report released by USDA on June 30.   

Based on primarily on surveys of producers taken during the first two weeks of June, USDA estimated U.S. corn planted acres for 2016 at 94.148 million, up from March planting intentions of 93.601 million and up 6.149 million acres or 7.0% from the 2015 level of 87.999 million. The USDA planted acreage total, which topped all trade expectations, would be the third highest since 1944 if realized. 

Soybean planted acres were estimated by USDA at 83.688 million, up  from March intentions of 82.236 million and 1.038 million or 1.3% from 82.650 million acres planted in 2015. The USDA estimate was slightly below the average of trade expectations, which was 83.834 million acres.  Record high soybean planted acreage was estimated in Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. 

USDA pegged 2016 U.S. all-wheat seedings at 50.816 million acres, down 7.0% from last year’s 54.644 million, but up from the March intentions of 49.559 million acres and toward the high end of trade expectations that averaged 49.869 million acres. 

Historically, final corn and soybean planted acreage has wound up lower than the June estimates more often than not. Final corn acres were lower than the June estimate two-thirds of the time going back to 1995, while final soybean acres were lower about 62% of the time.  However, odds of large drops in acreage this year are low as favorable planting conditions should mean low prevented planting claims. 

Given continued favorable crop weather, production for both crops should exceed last year’s levels, resulting in continued ample supplies. With much of the Midwest corn crop set to pollinate over the next three weeks, the weather outlook is mostly benign, favoring large production.