Market News & Headlines >> Corn Planting Intentions Larger Than Expected

Friday’s USDA Prospective Plantings report pegged U.S. corn planting intentions above the range of trade estimates and soybean plantings near the low end of expectations. 

At 92.79 million acres, March 1 corn planting intentions were the highest in three years, while soybean planting intentions of 84.62 million acres were a three-year low. 

Trade expectations for corn intentions averaged 91.3 million acres in a range from 90.0-92.7 million acres, according to a Bloomberg News survey of 30 analysts. Trade expectations for soybean intentions averaged 86.2 million acres in a range from 84.30-88.0 million. 

The largest increases in corn planting intentions by area were in North Dakota – 900,000 acres; South Dakota – 700,000 acres; and Iowa – 400,000 acres. The largest declines in soybean planting intentions by area were in Iowa – 600,000 acres; Minnesota – 500,000 acres; and South Dakota – 450,000 acres. 

The question now for the corn and soybean markets is how much actual planted acreage will resemble planting intentions. Flooding in parts of the Midwest and forecasts favoring wetter-than-normal spring weather cloud the planting outlook. 

A revised 30-day precipitation outlook issued on Sunday by the NOAA/NWS Climate Prediction Center favors above-normal April precipitation for most of the western half of the Corn Belt and in the Delta region. The revised 90-day outlook favors above-normal precipitation for nearly all of the Corn Belt and the Delta/Southeast.