USDA Reports Show that Focus Remains on Weather

US - There were no big surprises in two Agriculture Department economic reports released today, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. USDA’s Acreage and Grain Stocks reports confirmed AFBF analysts’ expectations that good planting weather has increased soybean acres in the Midwest and old-crop corn inventory is tighter than last year.
calendar icon 2 July 2012
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According to the acreage report, there are more acres of both corn and soybeans than was previously estimated in USDA’s March Prospective Plantings report. Corn planted acres is estimated at 96.4 million, up 4.48 million acres from 2011, while soybean planted acres is estimated at 76.1 million acres, up 1.104 million acres from 2011.

“The March 2012 estimate of 73.9 million acres surprised the market with fewer soybean acres and triggered higher futures market prices to ‘buy’ additional soybean acres,” said Todd Davis, senior economist for AFBF. “The acreage report confirms that the market was successful in getting the additional soybean acres.”

The good planting weather continued to increase soybean acres in North and South Dakota, as they increased by 600,000 and 400,000 acres, respectively, from 2011. Iowa increased by 150 thousand acres and Nebraska by 200,000. Illinois and Indiana reduced soybeans by 300,000 acres each from 2011.

The greatest increases in corn plantings were seen in North Dakota, up by 1.17 million acres, and South Dakota, up 800,000, from this time last year. According to Dr Davis, this can be attributed to the much improved planting weather for 2012. Two other large producers of corn, Iowa and Kansas, however, were down by a few hundred thousand acres of corn acres each.

On the other hand, the grain stocks report showed corn stocks reduced from last year. Soybean stocks, despite the market projecting tight stocks for the 2012-13 marketing year, have increased from last year. Corn stocks were estimated down to about 3.149 billion bushels while soybeans were up 667 million bushels.

“Now, the market will focus on the drought in the Corn Belt and the hot weather projected for the next few weeks,” said Dr Davis. “Both will impact corn silking and yield potential for the rest of the growing season.”

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