USDA Reports Flash

King Corn Yielding Acres to Soybeans

USDA released its Prospective Plantings and Quarterly Grain Stocks reports on Friday. (Logo courtesy of USDA)

WASHINGTON (DTN) -- Farmers are expected to plant 90 million acres of corn this year, down 4% from last year while soybean acreage will grow to 89.5 million planted acres, up 7% from a year ago.

If realized, soybean planted acres will again be a record as soybean acreage continues to encroach on King Corn.

USDA on Friday released its prospective plantings report for major crops as well as quarterly grain stock numbers.

Corn stocks were pegged at 8.62 billion bushels, up 10% from a year ago. Stocks are higher despite indicated disappearance -- usage -- from December 2016 to February 2017 is pegged at 3.77 billion bushels, up from 3.41 billion bushels over the same period last year.

Soybean stocks were pegged at 1.73 billion bushels, up 13% from last year. Usage from December to February was 1.16 billion bushels, down 2% from a year ago.

USDA's prospective plantings estimates are neutral to bullish for new-crop corn, bearish for new-crop soybeans and neutral for new-crop wheat, said DTN Analyst Todd Hultman. USDA's March 1 grain stocks estimates were neutral to bearish for corn, soybeans and wheat, he said.

For DTN's exclusive audio comments on today's reports, visit: http://listen.aghost.net/…

For the full Prospective Plantings and Quarterly Grain Stocks reports, visit: http://www.nass.usda.gov/…

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CORN

At 90 million acres, prospective planting will be down 4 million acres from 2016, but still 2% higher than 2015 planted acres. Acreage is expected to be down across most major corn-producing states with the exception of Kansas. Acreage will be down because of expectations of lower returns compared to other crops.

Looking at stocks, USDA projects 4.91 billion bushels were stored on farms, up 13% from a year ago. Off-farm stocks were pegged at 3.71 billion bushels, up 6% from a year ago.

SOYBEANS

At 89.5 million planted acres, soybean planting will be more than 6 million acres higher than 2016. USDA projects increases of 500,000 acres or more in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota and Nebraska. If realized, 12 major soybean growing states will have record soybean planted acres.

Quarterly stocks for soybeans showed 669 million bushels stored on farms, down 8% from a year ago. Off-farm stocks are pegged at 1.07 billion bushels, up 33% from a year ago.

WHEAT

Farmers are projected to plant 46.1 million acres of wheat, down 8% from last year. If realized, it would mark the lowest wheat acreage since the U.S. began keeping records in 1919.

Winter wheat acres are pegged at 32.7 million acres down 9% from last year and the second-lowest winter-wheat acreage on record. Spring wheat is projected at 11.3 million acres, down 300,000 acres and the lowest spring wheat planting since 1972. Durum acres were pegged at 2 million acres, down 400,000 from last year.

All-wheat stocks were projected at 1.66 billion bushels, up 21% from a year ago. Disappearance from December to February was projected at 422 million bushels, up 13% from the same period a year ago.

On-farm wheat stocks were projected at 350 million bushels, up 9% from last year while off-farm stocks were 1.31 billion bushels, up 24% from a year ago.

COTTON

USDA projects 12.2 million planted cotton acres, up 21% from last year and the highest planted acres since 2012. Upland cotton planted acres in Texas are projected at 6.9 million acres, up 1.25 million acres from last year.

Expectations of higher cotton prices are driving the increase in acres.

SORGHUM

Farmers will plant 5.8 million acres of sorghum, down 14% from last year. Kansas farmers will plant 2.5 million acres, down 600,000 acres from a year ago. If realized, sorghum acres in Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi and Missouri will be the lowest on record.

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Editor's note: Join DTN Senior Analyst Darin Newsom at 12 p.m. CDT Friday as he analyzes the Quarterly Grain Stocks and Prospective Plantings reports and gives a grain market outlook for the spring quarter. Sign up now at: http://www.dtn.com/…

QUARTERLY STOCKS (million bushels)
3/1/17 Average High Low 12/1/16 3/1/16
Corn 8,616 8,551 8,900 8,280 12,384 7,822
Soybeans 1,735 1,679 1,800 1,627 2,895 1,531
Wheat 1,655 1,622 1,721 1,417 2,073 1,372
Grain Sorghum 180 195 204 186 311 202
PROSPECTIVE PLANTINGS
ACREAGE (million acres) USDA
3/31/17 Average High Low 2016-17
Corn 90.0 91.0 92.5 89.7 94.0
Soybeans 89.5 88.1 90.2 85.9 83.4
All Wheat 46.1 46.1 48.2 44.4 50.2
Winter 32.7 32.4 33.0 32.0 36.1
Spring 11.3 11.3 12.2 9.9 11.6
Durum 2.0 2.1 2.5 2.0 2.4
Grain Sorghum 5.8 6.0 6.6 5.4 6.7

(AG)

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