Monday, April 13, 2015

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USDA corn and soybean plantings forecast increases

Washington—The Agriculture Department’s Prospective Plantings report indicates that compared to 2014 farmers will plant more acres of soybeans but fewer acres of corn this spring. According to the American Farm Bureau, the USDA raised its estimates on corn and soybean acreage from the numbers released at the annual USDA outlook forum in February. Prospective planting estimates for corn increased from 89.0 million acres to 89.2 million.

Soybean estimates increased from 83.5 million to 84.6 million acres. “The increase in corn was a bit of a surprise, and the market has not responded favorably,” said John Anderson, American Farm Bureau’s deputy chief economist. Corn futures dropped by around 15 cents a bushel with this news, but the soybean market has remained relatively stable. But “it’s not too late for late acreage shifts,” Anderson noted. “So if corn is down that affects soybeans prices as well.” Other feedgrains (grain sorghum, barley and oats) are all projected to be up from last year. The combined increase for these three crops is almost 1.3 million acres.

According to Farm Bureau, that almost completely offsets the projected year-over-year decline in corn acreage. All wheat acreage is projected at 55.4 million acres, which is a little lower than USDA’s February estimate. Cotton acreage is also down for 2015, projected at 9.55 million acres. If realized, that will be a 13 percent decline in cotton plantings compared to last year.

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