Canada Markets

Forecast Change in Canada and US Row Crop Acres

Cliff Jamieson
By  Cliff Jamieson , Canadian Grains Analyst
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In advance of the USDA's acreage estimates to be released on March 28, the average of Dow Jones pre-report estimates points to a year-over-year drop in corn acres and an increase in soybean acres (brown bars). Statistics Canada's initial planted acre estimates (blue bars) points to an opposite year-over-year change. (DTN graphic by Cliff Jamieson)

Ahead of the March 28 USDA Prospective Plantings report release, the average of Dow Jones survey of market participants points to an expected 2.7% drop in acres to be planted to United States corn in 2024 and a 3.2% increase in soybean acres. This year-over-year change is shown by the brown bars on the attached chart. This average would result in 94.6 million corn acres and 83.6 million acres seeded to soybeans.

As indicated by DTN Lead Analyst Todd Hultman in this week's USDA Reports Review (…), the March estimate has not always been an accurate predictor of acres, as "Weather has been the primary, but not only, challenge to the accuracy of this report."

It is interesting to note that Statistics Canada's Principal field crop areas, 2024 report released on March 11 (…)shows the exact opposite year-over-year change, with soybean acres to fall by 0.9% and corn acres to increase by 3.2%. At 3.885 million acres, corn acres would reach a record for Canada, with acres forecast to expand in Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba.

The decision to plant corn or soybeans is not necessarily the same in Canada and the United States, although there is a tendency for acres to move in the same direction. During the past five years, U.S. and Canadian producers moved in the same direction, either up or down, in corn acres in four of five years, or 80% of the time, while three of five years for soybeans, or 60% of the time.

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