Fundamentally Speaking

Avg 10 & 20 Year % Changes in Planted Corn

Joel Karlin
By  Joel Karlin , DTN Contributing Analyst
Chart by Joel Karlin, DTN Contributing Analyst

Attention will be focused on USDA's planted acreage and balance sheet estimates for the 2021/22 season when these are released at their annual Ag Outlook Forum this week.

With corn and soybeans at their highest levels in at least seven years and ending stocks razor thin, there is an urgent need for U.S. farmers to expand seedings of both crops this spring; the question is which one will have the upper hand?

After the USDA economists issue their planted acreage projections they will survey a number of farmers on what their planting intentions are and release those on March 31.

These figures will be updated at the end of June and then a final figure will be given in the annual production report in January.

There can be large differences between the March Prospective Plantings, June Acreage and final production numbers for the planted area of major crops, especially in corn where changing prices and Mother Nature can have a large say in what farmers intend to put in the ground and what they actually seed.

This graph shows the 10 and 20-year average percent changes in planted corn acreage for the top 18 growing states and the U.S. from the March intentions to the June acreage reports and then the June Acreage figures till the final production report numbers.

This is particularly important in that last year U.S. corn planted area fell by 5.0 million acres from the March intentions to the June acreage report (or by 5.1%), the largest March to June decline in at least 25 years and then fell another 1.20 million acres from the June 2020 Acreage report to the January 2021 annual crop production report; the 6.4% fall from March to the final also appears to be the largest ever.

With regard to March to June changes, SD has the largest 10 and 20-year annual changes at off 3.5% and 1.9% respectively, followed up by ND at down 1.5% and 0.9%.

For the June to final report acreage declines, ND and MI have the largest 10 and 20-year percent declines with TN and WI in the mix also.

No surprise that the northern states tend to see actual corn planted area fall from what is indicated in first the March intentions report and then later from the June Acreage numbers as weather can really play havoc with corn seedings as seen the past two seasons.

Note actual corn planted area in North Dakota from the March to the final figure fell by 39.1% in 2020 after a 13.6% drop the prior year, while in SD the 2020 drop was 17.5% which is actually less than the huge 27.5% plunge seen in 2019 from the March intentions to the final figure.

Seems logical to pay attention to corn planting progress this year up in the Dakotas especially since they account for a much larger share of U.S. corn acreage and production now than seen 20 or even ten years ago.


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