Market News & Headlines >> USDA Acreage Survey Stuns Corn Market
The results of USDA’s annual Crop Acreage survey caught the grain trade off guard on Tuesday morning as USDA pegged U.S. corn plantings nearly 5 million acres below the March planting intentions and showed only a modest increase in soybean plantings.
USDA’s corn plantings estimate of 92.006 million acres compared with March 1 planting intentions of 96.990 million acres and below trade estimates that averaged 95.140 million acres in a range from 93.000-97.100 million.
USDA pegged U.S. soybean plantings at 83.825 million acres, up just 315,000 acres or 0.4% from the March intentions and below trade estimates that averaged 84.833 million acres in a range from 84.000-86.500 million.
Meanwhile, USDA’s June 1 wheat planted acreage estimate at 44.250 million was down 405,000 acres from the March 1 planting intentions and was toward the low end of trade estimates that averaged 44.723 million acres in a range from 44.000-46.000.
Also, USDA reported cotton planted area at just 12.185 million acres, down 1.518 million acres or 11.1% from the March 1 intentions of 13.703 million acres and near the low end of trade estimates that averaged 13.152 million acres in a range from 11.900-13.900 million.
Low corn prices this spring and planting delays in the Dakotas and Nebraska were expected to result in a shift in acreage from corn to soybeans, but the USDA data indicates the acreage shift was minimal.
Instead, it would appear that producers simply did not plant a number of acres they earlier intended to amid the demand uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic.
The USDA Crop Acreage survey pegged total plantings of the eight major field crops – corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, sorghum, rice, oats and barley – at 246.740 million acres, down 6.710 million from the March 1 planting intentions, although still up 8.670 million from last year’s weather-reduced 239.070 million.