USDA reports lower corn acres in 2017

by Ron Sterk
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After planted area of 94.5 million acres in 2016, corn area was forecast to drop 5 percent to 90 million acres in 2017. 

WASHINGTON — Lower corn area but higher soybean area in 2017 was projected by the US Dept. of Agriculture on Nov. 29 in selected early-release tables of its upcoming USDA Agricultural Projections to 2026 report. Similar trends have been forecast by several private market analysts recently.

After planted area of 94.5 million acres in 2016, corn area was forecast to drop 5 percent to 90 million acres in 2017 and then slowly but consistently decline to 86 million acres in 2026. Harvested area was forecast at 82.3 million acres next year, down 5 percent from 86.8 million acres this year, with a gradual slide to 78.3 million acres in 2026.

Soybean planted area was forecast to increase 2 percent to a record 84.6 million acres in 2017, decline slightly the following three years, then increase to 84.1 million acres in 2021 and hold at that level through 2026. Harvested area is the same as planted area for soybeans in the USDA’s long-term projections.

Corn exports were projected at 1,950 million bushels in 2017-18, down 12 percent from 2,225 million bushels forecast for the current year. After next year, corn exports were projected to increase 25 million bushels annually to 2,175 million bushels in 2026-27.

Soybean exports were projected at 2,100 million bushels in 2017-18, up 50 million bushels from 2,050 million bushels forecast for this marketing year, followed by declines the following two years and then mostly annual increases, reaching 2,150 million bushels in the final two years of the outlook.

The preliminary long-range outlook uses the USDA’s November World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report as a starting point. Forecasts will be revised and commentary added in the department’s Agricultural Projections to 2026 report in February 2017, which coincides with the USDA’s annual Outlook Forum. The tables provide a first glimpse at the USDA’s 2017-18 projections.

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