Market News & Headlines >> USDA Sees Soybean Acreage up 6.7%

U.S. farmers will plant a record large 88.0 million acres of soybeans this spring, up 5.6 million from last year, while cutting corn plantings by 4.0 million acres to 90.0 million, due to more profitable returns and lower production costs for soybeans, USDA projected on Thursday at its annual Outlook Forum.

U.S. all-wheat seedings are expected to drop by 4.2 million acres from last year to 46.0 million due to unprofitable prices, USDA said.

USDA’s soybean acreage forecast was up from a baseline estimate of 85.5 million that the department calculated for budget purposes based on November, 2016 conditions. Trade expectations for soybean plantings averaged 87.58 million acres, according to a Reuters News Service survey.

The USDA corn acreage projection was unchanged from its November baseline projection. Trade expectations for corn plantings averaged 91.05 million acres, according to a Reuters News Service survey. The wheat acreage estimate was down from a baseline forecast of 48.5 million. Trade estimates of all-wheat seedings averaged 46.85 million acres.

USDA estimated on-farm soybean prices would average $9.60 a bushel in 2017/18, compared with a projected range of $9.10-$9.90 for this year. USDA’s initial projection is for corn prices to average $3.50 per bushel next marketing year, compared with an expected range of $3.20-$3.60 per bushel this year. USDA sees on-farm wheat prices averaging $4.30 per bushel in 2017/18 up from $3.80-$3.90 this year.