A June world agricultural outlook report from USDA estimates 1.5 million fewer acres of corn planted in the U.S. compared to the March USDA survey. The outlook report stated planted U.S. corn acres are now 90.7 million. Planting delays in the eastern Corn Belt and northern Plains were reasons cited for the lowered number of corn acres. However, analysts did increase the number of corn acres planted in the western Corn Belt and central Plains where growers were able to plant on time.
The area harvested for grain is projected at 83.2 million acres, 1.9 million below the May USDA forecast. The large reduction reflects expectations that some planted acreage was lost to flooding in the lower Ohio, lower Mississippi, and Missouri River valleys.
A change in corn acre estimates in the USDA world report is infrequent since USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) started conducting a June planting and harvested acreage survey. Darrell Good, economist at the University of Illinois, reports that the USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) have only changed in 1995, 1996 and 2002.
Good reports that the corn acreage changes in the June WASDE have been accurate. In the three years cited, the June forecast of harvested acreage differed from the final estimate by 0.8, 0.2, and 1.7 million acres, respectively.
On the supply side, the market’s attention will now turn more to yield prospects, Good says. For the most part, those prospects will be based on the USDA’s weekly estimates of crop conditions.
"The near completion of planting, except for double-cropped soybeans, and less threatening weather, may reduce crop concerns for now, resulting in some modest price weakness," Good adds. "The June 30 USDA Acreage and Grain Stocks report will provide additional price direction."