WASHINGTON – US farmers intend to boost 2013 corn planted area slightly but trim soybean area from 2012, the US Department of Agriculture said in its March 28 annual Prospective Plantings report.

Farmers indicated they intend to plant 97,282,000 acres of corn in 2013, up slightly from 97,155,000 acres in 2012 and near trade expectations that averaged 97.3 million acres.

“If realized, this will represent the highest planted acreage in the United States since 1936 when an estimated 102 million acres were planted,” the USDA said. “Most states in the Corn Belt, which experienced severe drought in 2012, expect slightly less planted acreage. Expected returns for corn are again historically high going into 2013.”

Growers intend to plant 77,126,000 acres of soybeans in 2013, down slightly from 77,198,000 acres in 2012 and below the average trade estimate of 78.5 million acres.

“Compared with 2012, planted area is down across the Great Plains with the exception of North Dakota,” the USDA said. “Nebraska and Minnesota are expecting the largest declines compared with last year, while Illinois and North Dakota are expecting the largest increases.”

Corn and soybean stocks were down on March, the USDA said in its March 28 Grain Stocks report.
Stocks of corn in all positions on March 1 totaled 5,398,944,000 bushels, down 10 percent from 6,023,356,000 bushels a year ago. On-farm corn stocks were 2,669,200,000 bushels, down 16 percent from last year, and off-farm stocks were 2,729,744,000 bushels, down 4 percent from a year ago. Indicated disappearance of corn during the December-February period was 2.63 billion bushels, down 27 percent from the same period last year, the USDA said.

Soybean stocks in all positions were 999,280,000 bushels, down 27 percent from 1,374,488,000 bushels on March 1, 2012, the USDA said. On-farm stocks were 456,700,000 bushels, down 18 percent from last year, and off-farm stocks totaled 542,580,000 bushels, down 34 percent. Indicated disappearance during December-February was 967 million bushels, down 3 percent from the same period a year earlier, the USDA said.

The USDA stocks numbers were above trade expectations for corn, which averaged 5,030 million bushels, and for soybeans, which were 947 million bushels.