Fundamentally Speaking

Soybean Planted Acreage Changes

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

USDA's planted acreage estimates for the 2022/23 season were released at their annual Ag Outlook Forum this week as combined area for corn and soybeans is expected to reach 180.0 million acres, down slightly compared to last year when there was low prevented plantings and record acres of 180.6 million.

Corn area was put at 92.0 million acres, down from 93.4 million acres last year due to shifts in relative prices and higher input costs.

Soybean seedings were pegged at 88.0 million acres, up from 87.2 million acres in 2021 linked to very favorable new-crop pricing opportunities for producers who are also focusing on managing high production costs.

With the highest new crop prices ever, one wonders why total acreage is down 0.6 million but that is for another blog piece another time.

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 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 planted area of the major crops especially in soybeans 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.

Similar to a recent piece we did with corn, this graph shows the 10 and 20-year average percent changes in planted soybean 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.

USDA's 88 million acres planted figure seems rather low given what should be a larger crush and export projection total for the coming season based on the disaster that has befallen the South American soybean harvest, but over the past 10 years the average change in bean planted area from the March intentions to the June acreage report is up 0.6% with the 20-year average down 0.1%.

Then from the June acreage report to the final production figures, the average change in bean planted area is down 1% for the 10-year average with the 20-year average down 0.5%.

A look at the top state figures shows almost all states see soybean area figures increase from the March intentions to the June acreage numbers with the exception of ND and SD.

For the Dakotas this is likely due to weather as in years of delayed corn seedings it could mean it gets too late in the season up there to put soybeans in the ground.

For the June to final report acreage, most states actually see planted area fall as over the past ten years from the June Acreage figures until the final production report numbers, soybean seeded area has fallen by an average of over 4% in AR, LA, and MI with a 3% decline in seen in WI.

We'll see what the Prospective Plantings report says with regard to U.S. soybean seedings this year in one month and hopefully it is a big number because the fact is over the past 10 years, the final U.S. planted acreage figure has averaged 0.4% below the intentions figure with the 20-year average being down 0.6%.


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