Plantings: Soybeans record high; corn down

by Ron Sterk
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WASHINGTON — US farmers intend to boost 2014 soybean planted area by 6 percent and to a record high 81.5 million acres but reduce corn plantings by 4 percent, the US Department of Agriculture said in its March 31 Prospective Plantings report.

Growers intend to plant a record high 81,493,000 acres of soybeans in 2014, up 6 percent from 76,533,000 acres in 2013 and slightly above the average trade estimate of 81.4 million acres.

Farmers indicated they intend to plant 91,691,000 acres of corn in 2014, down 4 percent from 95,365,000 acres in 2013 and below trade expectations that averaged 92.9 million acres.

The plantings report, along with the USDA’s Grain Stocks report also released at 11:00 am Central Time, resulted in corn futures trading slightly higher shortly after the report, with old crop soybean futures posting gains.

“Soybean-planted area for 2014 is estimated at a record high 81.5 million acres, up 6 percent from last year,” the USDA said. “Compared with last year, planted acreage intentions are up or unchanged in all states with the exception of Missouri and Oklahoma.” The largest increases are expected in North Dakota, Minnesota and Nebraska, the USDA said.

For corn, the USDA said, “If realized, this will represent the lowest planted acreage in the US since 2010; however, this will represent the fifth largest corn acreage in the United States since 1944. Expected returns for corn are anticipated to be lower in 2014 compared with recent years.”

Growers intend to plant 6,681,000 acres of grain sorghum, down 17 percent from 8,061,000 acres in 2013.
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