Prospective Plantings and Grain Stocks Recap

John M. Riley, Extension Economist
By John M. Riley, Extension Economist April 1, 2011 09:15

USDA released their annual Prospective Plantings report and their quarterly Grain Stocks report yesterday morning. Both reports are key information pieces for grain, oilseed and cotton prices at this point in the year.

The Prospective Plantings report provided few tangible surprises as most acreage numbers reported were in-line with pre-report expectations. From a national perspective, corn will once again garner the largest area with expected plantings at 92.2 million acres, 4 million acres more than last year and only 340,000 acres more than analyst expected. Soybeans planted acres are projected at 76.6 million acres, down slightly from 2010 and pre-report expectations, respectively at 77.4 and 76.9 million acres.  U.S. cotton acreage is forecast at 12.6 million acres, the largest since 2005 spurred by high prices over the past few months.  Analysts had expected 13 million acres going to cotton and last year’s planted acres were 10.97 million.  Wheat acreage is projected at 58 million, up 4.4 million from last year and down marginally from trade expectations of 58.4 million.  Rice acres are expected to be at 3.02 million acres versus 3.64 last year.

For Mississippi row crops, corn and cotton made the largest gains in acreage while grain sorghum saw the largest percentage jump from 2010.  Soybean and rice acres lost ground to these crops for the upcoming growing season.  Corn acres are projected at 860,000 versus 750,000 last year. Cotton acres are expected to be 530,000 compared to 420,000 in 2010.  Grain sorghum acreage is forecast at 75,000 which is a 525% increase over 2010’s plantings of 12,000.  Soybeans are still expected to garner the most land, at 1.85 million acres, but this will be down from 2010’s 2 million acre allotment.  Rice acreage is expected to come in at 200,000 as compared to 305,000 last year.  Wheat acres in the state are expected to be higher at 330,000 versus 125,000 last year.  Other crops in the state, to round out the report, are peanuts and sweet potatoes at 16,000 and 21,000 respectively compared to 19,000 and 21,000 last year.

The big shocker of the day, mostly for corn, was the Grain Stocks report which showed that corn in storage – both on and off farms – at 6.52 billion bushels compared to an expected 6.69 billion.  That along with the continued surge in exports pushed corn futures up limit on Thursday.  Soybeans benefited from the same news, though to a lesser degree, as stocks were reported at 1.25 billion bushels versus 1.3 expected from analysts.

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John M. Riley, Extension Economist
By John M. Riley, Extension Economist April 1, 2011 09:15
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