WASHINGTON – The US corn crop in 2011 must total 13.688 billion bushels, based on the most likely scenario analyzed by Darrel Good, University of Illinois agricultural economist.

The 2011 yield will need to be at the trend value of 160 bushels and harvested acreage would need to total 85.55 million acres, to achieve this crop. Allowing for silage and abandonment, planted acreage of 92.55 million would be needed, 4.328 million more than planted in 2010, Good said in his latest newsletter.

Regarding soybeans, Good expects 2010-11 marketing year-ending stocks of 265 million bushels and a 2011-12 consumption of 3.325 billion bushels. For 2011-12 ending stocks of 250 million bushels would require a crop of 3.3 billion bushels. A 2011 yield near the trend value of 43.2 bushels would require harvested acreage of 76.389 million and planted acreage of 77.389 million, 325,000 fewer than planted in 2010.

Whether or not 2011’s corn and soybean acres are as Good foresees will be greatly influenced by how many acres of corn and soybean are needed to meet consumption requirements at ‘reasonable’ prices; how many acres are available for planting of all crops in 2011; and what is the likely strength of competition from other crops.

In 2010 planted acreage of corn in the US totaled 88.222 million acres, 1.74 million acres more than planted in 2009 but 5.305 million fewer than planted in 2007. Planted acreage of soybeans in 2010 was a record 77.714 million, 263,000 acres more than planted in 2009. The market currently appears to expect that 2010-11 year-ending soybean stocks will be smaller than 265 million bushels and that 2011-12 market size will be larger than 3.325 billion bushels, implying that more soybean acreage will be required in 2011, Good said.

Acreage of all crops in 2010 was about 2 million less than planted in 2009. Although the mix of crops changed from 2009 to 2010, the overall decline reflected a reduction of about 2.3 million acres of double-cropped soybeans, according to Good. Current strong demand for and high prices of grains, oilseeds, and cotton have triggered increased interest in acreage needs for 2011, he added.

Combined acreage of corn and soybeans may need to increase by 4 to 5 million acres or more in 2010, depending on the market’s assessment of yield risk. Prices for corn and soybean required to attract such an increase depends, in part, on the size of the acreage pie. Acres of principal crops, including hay, totaled 318 million in 2010 but have recently varied from 315.6 million (2006) to 329.3 million (1999), according to Good’s analysis.

USDA’s January 2011 estimates of 2010 final crop size, Dec. 1 stocks, winter wheat seeding and South American crop prospects will be important in determining corn and soybean acreage needs, Good concluded.