FSA: 19.3 Million Acres Unplanted

Farm Service Agency Cites Record Number of Prevented Planting Acres

Chris Clayton
By  Chris Clayton , DTN Ag Policy Editor
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USDA's Farm Service Agency on Monday released its crop acreage numbers, which differ from the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates. Farmers reported 19.3 million unplanted acres to FSA. (DTN graphic)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Farmers were unable to plant just under 19.3 million acres in crops this year, dominated by 11.2 million prevented planting acres for corn and 4.35 million acres for soybeans, according to a USDA Farm Service Agency acreage report released Monday.

The FSA report added further confusion to numbers released by the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand (WASDE) acreage estimates.

Running down the numbers on prevented planting, the 19.3 million acres is the most unplanted since USDA began reporting those figures in 2007. Last year, FSA reported just 1.8 million prevented planting acres. The top six states for prevented planting acres, all topping 1 million unplanted acres, accounted for 10.74 million unplanted acres, or about 56% of the total.

Those included:

-- South Dakota with 3.86 million unplanted acres, including 2.84 million for corn and 850,864 for soybeans.

-- Illinois, Ohio, Missouri, Arkansas and Minnesota, in that order, also came in with more than 1 million acres total of prevented planting.

-- Illinois reported 1.14 million acres of unplanted corn acres while Minnesota came in at 999,513 and Ohio reported 880,992 prevented planting corn acres.

-- Farmers reported planting 2.71 million acres of cover crops so far this year, up about 570,000 acres from last year.

When it comes to planted acres, the WASDE stated 90 million acres were planted to corn nationally while FSA stated farmers reported 85.87 million acres of corn planted, a 4.6% difference in acres for the two reports.

Some of the differences between FSA and the National Agricultural Statistics Service numbers used for the WASDE for planted acreage include difference in cover crops and whether the farmer is required to certify with FSA. USDA stated to DTN that NASS will include corn planted for grain, silage, cover crops or other uses, while FSA only includes corn for grain or silage.

As corn fell 25 cents shortly after the WASDE came out, farmers and analysts on social media had a lot of questions about just how farmers had 11.2 million acres of unplanted corn, yet also planted 85.87 million to 90 million acres. The March Prospective Plantings report initially pegged corn acreage at 92.8 million.

For soybeans, the WASDE pegged planted acres at 76.7 million while FSA stated farmers reported 74 million acres planted, a 3.6% difference between the two reports. With 4.35 million acres unplanted, that puts the potential soybean acreage at 78.35 million to 81.05 million acres. The March Prospective Plantings report estimated soybean planted acres at 84.6 million.

FSA's acreage data comes from reports filed by producers by Aug. 1 to the agency to maintain program eligibility. FSA stated it will update its acreage reports monthly until the final acreage report is released in January.

Chris Clayton can be reached at Chris.Clayton@dtn.com

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Chris Clayton