Farmers Intend to Plant Less Corn and Soybeans in 2018

Cindy Zimmerman

U.S. farmers are expected to plant more soybean acres than corn but overall intentions are down slightly from the record year in 2017, according to the Prospective Plantings report released today by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

Producers surveyed across the United States intend to plant an estimated 89.0 million acres of soybeans and 88.0 million acres of corn in 2018. Soybean acreage is one percent less than 2017 and the corn acres are down 2 percent from last year. If realized this will be the lowest planted corn acreage since 2015.

Planted acreage intentions for soybeans are down or unchanged in 20 of the 31 estimating states. The largest increase is expected in Indiana with 6.10 million acres, an increase of 150,000 acres from 2017. If realized, the planted area of soybeans in Indiana, Kentucky, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin will be the largest on record.

All wheat planted area for 2018 is estimated at 47.3 million acres, up 3 percent from 2017 but the second lowest all wheat planted area on record since records began in 1919. Winter wheat planted area, at 32.7 million acres, is up slightly from both last year and the previous estimate. Area planted to other spring wheat for 2018 is expected to total 12.6 million acres, up 15 percent from 2017. Durum wheat is expected to total 2.00 million acres for 2018, down 13 percent from last year.

All cotton planted area for 2018 is expected to total 13.5 million acres, seven percent higher than last year.

NASS’s acreage estimates are based on surveys conducted during the first two weeks of March from a sample of approximately 82,900 farm operators across the United States.

Commodity research analyst Brian Basting of Advance Trading provided commentary on the report today for MGEX and said the trade was surprised by many of the numbers, especially wheat: Brian Basting, Advance Trading comments on Prospective Plantings

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