Fundamentally Speaking

Combined Dakota Corn Acreage

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

In a prior post we showed 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 until the final production report numbers.

With regard to March to June changes, South Dakota had the largest 10 and 20-year annual changes while for the for the June to final report North Dakota had the largest 10 and 20-year percent revisions.

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.

We noted that it is important 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 10 years ago.

This can be seen in the chart where North and South Dakota combined planted corn area as a percent of the U.S. total is shown for the March prospective plantings, June acreage and final production reports are plotted on the left hand axis vs. the change in total corn area seeded from March intentions to the final report in 1000 acres on the right hand axis.

First note that final combined corn acreage in the Dakotas more than doubled from as low as 4.9% back in 1995 to as high as 10.5% as recently as 2013 but has since fallen back to just 7.6% last year.

Why the drop? Could be that some Dakota farmers maybe switched to soybeans or seeded more spring wheat, but part of the problem was that some of the planned are for corn could not get planted due to very wet weather and soil conditions.

In 2019 Dakota farmers had intended to seed an all-time high of close to 11% of all U.S. corn acreage but instead ended at 8.4% as total combined corn area in North and South Dakota fell by 650,000 acres, the largest decline ever between the March intentions and final production report.

That however was easily eclipsed last year when total corn area fell by a whopping 0.90 million acres between the prospective plantings and final output report with the final combined acreage the lowest percent of the national total since 2010 and second lowest since 2005.

If there is any silver lining in today's figures from the U.S. Drought Monitor site that the High Plains region of the U.S. which both ND and SD are in is seeing 82% of its land mass in some form of drought vs. a mere 10% a year ago is that hopefully what should be a large increase in combined Dakota corn acreage seen in next month's intentions report is fully realized when the final planting figure are tallied next January.


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