Despite the challenging planting conditions this spring USDA is saying that farmers have planted even more corn than last year and the most acres in 77 years, according to Friday’s Acreage report.
Corn planted area for all purposes in 2013 is estimated at 97.4 million acres, up slightly from last year. This represents the highest planted acreage in the United States since 1936 when an estimated 102 million acres were planted. Growers expect to harvest 89.1 million acres for grain, up 2 percent from last year. Corn acreage is up in 23 states, but most of them are not major corn producing areas. In fact, acreage is down in the big corn states of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Missouri but small increases are noted in states like Nebraska, North Dakota and Ohio.
Not only that, soybean acreage is a new record. Soybean planted area for 2013 is estimated at a record high 77.7 million acres, up 1 percent from last year. Area for harvest, at 76.9 million acres, is up 1 percent from 2012 and will be a record high, if realized. Record high planted acreage is estimated in New York, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota. Wheat acres are up one percent and cotton is down 17% – no surprises there.
Considering what the spring has been like, the numbers are being met with some skepticism by market watchers in particular. “It’s a shockingly big number and it will be questioned,” said Jack Scoville of The Price Futures Group during a crop conference call from the Minneapolis Grain Exchange today.
Listen to Jack’s commentary here: Jack Scoville, MGEX Crop Call
The question is whether USDA will resurvey farmers now, based on the spring planting issues. The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has already announced it will collect updated information next month for acres planted to soybean in fourteen states, but no word on corn.
Photo credit – Iowa Secretary of Ag Bill Northey who has a great set of 2013 crop photos on Facebook.