USDA Reports Summary

Corn, Soybean Acreage Below Expectations

USDA will released its latest Prospective Plantings and March 1 Grain Stocks reports on Wednesday, March 31. (Logo courtesy of USDA)

This article was originally posted at 11:01 a.m. CST. It was updated at 12:18 p.m.


OMAHA (DTN) -- USDA on Wednesday released its Prospective Plantings and March 1 Grain Stocks reports.

USDA expects farmer to plant 91.1 million acres (ma) of corn, below the low end of pre-report expectations, and 87.6 ma of soybeans, below the range of expectations.

Wheat acres, on the other hand, are expected to increase 5% to 46.4 ma, which is on the high end of analysts' estimates.

According to DTN Lead Analyst Todd Hultman, Wednesday's planting intentions are bullish for corn and soybeans, neutral for wheat. Meanwhile, Hultman pegged the March 1 grain stocks as bullish for corn, neutral for soybeans and wheat.

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Corn acreage was pegged at 91.1 ma, up just 325,000 acres from 2020 planting, less than a 1% increase from last year. USDA's acreage came in below the lowest average analyst estimate released by Dow Jones. USDA stated that compared to 2020, corn planting would be up or unchanged in 24 of 48 states.

Soybean acres also came in below the pre-report range at 87.6 ma when the average estimate expected 90 ma. Still, soybean acres are forecast to be 5% higher than last year, 4.5 ma higher. USDA stated planting acres would be higher or unchanged in 23 of 29 states.

In overall principal crops, USDA reported 316.2 ma would be planted, up 6.1 ma from 2020.

USDA pegged all wheat planted acreage for 2021 at 46.4 ma, up 5% from last year, but still the fourth lowest all wheat planted area since recordkeeping began in 1919.

Of that, 33.1 ma are expected to be winter wheat, up 9% from last year and 3% above the agency's previous estimate. Hard red winter plantings should account for 23.2 ma, with soft red winter on 6.42 ma and white winter wheat on 3.48 ma.

Spring wheat acreage is expected to be trimmed to 11.7 ma, down 4% from last year. Hard red spring wheat is pegged at 10.9 ma, with durum dropping 9% from last year to 1.54 ma.

All cotton acreage for 2021 is estimated at 12 ma, down less than 1% from last year. Upland acreage is pegged at 11.9 ma, up slightly from 2020, and American Pima will pick up the rest, at 142,000 acres, down 30% from last year.

Sorghum acreage is expected to jump 18% this year, to 6.94 ma. That jump is driven by acreage increases in Colorado (11%), Kansas (20%), Texas (11%), Nebraska (54%), Oklahoma (25%) and South Dakota (19%).


Soybean stocks as of March 1 totaled 1.56 billion bushels (bb), 31% lower than at the same time last year and on par with the average pre-report estimate. On-farm stockpiles are estimated at 594 million bushels (mb), while off-farm supplies are pegged at 970 mb. Usage from December through February added up to 1.38 bb, up 39% from last year.

Corn stocks in all positions on March 1 were reported at 7.7 bb -- the lowest in six years, down 3% from the stocks a year ago. USDA reported 4.04 bb were stored on farms, down 9% from last year. Off-farm stocks were pegged at 3.6 bb, up 5% from last year. The December 2020 to February 2021 usage or disappearance was reported at 3.59 bb, compared to 3.38 bb from the same time a year ago.

Wheat stored in all positions on March 1 totaled 1.31 bb, down 7% from last year. Of that, 284 mb are estimated to be on farm, down 16% from last year, with off-farm stocks at 1.03 bb, down 4% from last year. That puts wheat stock use from December 2020 through February 2021 at 388 mb, down 9% from the same period the previous year.


Editor's Note: Join DTN Lead Analyst Todd Hultman at 12 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, March 31, for a look at what the day's numbers mean for grain prices. To register, visit:…

QUARTERLY STOCKS (million bushels)
3/1/21 Avg High Low 12/1/20 3/1/20
Corn 7,701 7,778 7,980 7,573 11,322 7,952
Soybeans 1,564 1,561 1,825 1,455 2,933 2,255
Wheat 1,314 1,272 1,405 1,227 1,674 1,415
ACREAGE (million acres) USDA USDA
3/31/21 Avg High Low 2019/20 3/31/20
Corn 91.1 93.1 94.5 92.0 90.8 97.0
Soybeans 87.6 90.0 91.3 88.9 83.1 83.5
Cotton 12.0 11.5 12.1 13.7
All Wheat 46.4 45.2 46.4 44.4 44.3 44.7
Winter 33.1 31.8 32.2 30.4 30.4 30.8
Spring 11.7 11.8 12.9 11.0 12.3 12.6
Durum 1.5 1.6 1.8 1.3 1.7 1.3