Minnesota Farmers Plan to Plant More Soybeans Than Corn

Traders brace for USDA reports

Traders brace for USDA reports

U.S. soybean plantings will be unexpectedly lower this year as farmers cut their acreage devoted to the oilseed by 1 percent amid sharply rising supplies, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Thursday.

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

Producers surveyed across the United States intend to plant an estimated 89.0 million acres of soybeans in 2018, down 1 percent from past year, according to the Prospective Plantings report released by the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Winter wheat acres seeded last fall also are estimated to be down. This represents the second lowest all wheat planted area on record since records began in 1919.

USDA's February projection for all cotton acres planted in 2018 was 13.3 million acres, up 700,000 acres from 2017.

The biggest losses were recorded in the states of Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota and OH, which alone are expected to amount to a cut of 1.08 million acres compared to a year ago. On-farm corn stocks were up 2 percent from a year ago, and off-farm stocks were up 5 percent.

The only year when soybean acres beat corn in recent memory was 1983, but it was because of government manipulation: The USDA was pushing farmers to plant fewer acres in an effort to boost prices in the midst of the nation's worst farm crisis.

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All wheat stored totaled 1.49 billion bushels, down 10 percent from a year ago.

Acreage increases are projected in 15 of the 17 cotton producing states in the U.S. Only Louisiana, Mississippi and Virginia showed slight decreases. OH is the only state expecting an increase, the USDA said. Figure 4 highlights the year-over-year percentage change in cotton acres.

Surprisingly, the USDA moved total wheat acreage up by 3% on the year to 47.3 million acres, well above the anticipated 46.3 million acres.

Corn has been dethroned as the king of crops, with farmers reporting they intend to plant more soybeans than corn for the first time in 35 years. 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. A variety of factors could ultimately change what growers plant this year.

Our upcoming series, "Market Intel Minute", will provide timely updates on growing conditions, the pace of planting, harvest progress, the pace of consumption and other time data series to help farmers and ranchers make informed and timely management and marketing decisions.

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