var _gaq = _gaq || []; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-16049511-2']); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']); (function() { var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true; ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + ''; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })();

First Planting Intentions Report of the Season Released

On Thursday at noon, USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service released their first spring planting intentions report, and grain stocks reports as of March 1st. Lance Honig Chief of Crops with the National Ag Statistics Service:

“It is the first survey based estimates out there for this season and the planting intentions for the major crops. For corn we are expecting 97.3 million acres to be planted this year. That is up 127,000 acres, less than 1%, from last year, but that still makes it the highest level since 1936.”

Soybean acreage is anticipated to be down this year according to Honig:

"Soybeans actually have a slight decline this year, down 70,000 to 77.1 million acres. That’s the 4th highest level on record for beans.”

With the bumper crop of 2012 in peanuts, it’s been thought that acreage, along with price would be down in 2013, and Honig says the NASS numbers reflect that:

“Right now the intentions for peanuts this year are 1.19 million acres, a 27% decline from last season.”

The thinking has been that there’s an over-supply of cotton, and acreage would be down, but the Chinese have been buying lately, pushing prices higher making the crop more attractive. As of March 1st, cotton acreage is predicted to be down, but Honig says that is by no means a final number:

“We are expecting 10 million acres to be planted this year; that is 18.6% decline or 2.2 million acres less than last year. It’s the second consecutive year of a decline of that magnitude.”

And, as we’ve heard this week, tobacco acres are anticipated to be up:

“We are expecting 349,000 acres to be harvested, 3.9% more than last year. This is a crop that has seen a pretty steady decline, so to see an increase is good news for the industry.”

But, it was the stocks report, according to Honig that really moved the markets on Thursday:

“We issued the grain stocks report so we did release a corn stock as of March 1. That estimate appears to be a little bit larger than most were anticipating.”

For more on the planting intentions and ending stocks report, click here.

Lance Honig, Chief of Crops for USDA’s NASS. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.