Planting Intentions Report Shows Largest Corn/Soybean Acres Ever

USDA released their 2012 Planting Intentions Report on Friday morning. Lance Honig, Chief, Crops Branch of USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service says they are anticipating one of the largest corn acreages ever in 2012:

“Ninety five point nine million acres expected to be planted this year, that is up 4.3% or 3.94 million acres from last year, and is the highest level since 1937. Looking at some of the expectations from some of the analysts out there, it’s a little bit higher than what most people were anticipating, but certainly there was expectation for much larger acreage.” 

And most of those corn acres will be carved out of soybean acres, according to Honig:

“For soybean acreage we see 73.9 million acres to be planted this year, that is down 1.07 million acres from last year so some switching back and forth. If you look at the corn and soybean combined, 169.8 million acres, that is the largest total for those two crops combined ever.” 

Cotton acreage came in significantly lower than 2012 numbers, but according to Honig, that came as no surprise:

“Thirteen point seven million acres, that is a fairly sharp drop, almost 11% from last year. Most of the expectations appear to be at least that much drop if not more.” 

It’s generally considered that the 2011 acreage was price driven. Honig says that prices are still good:

“Prices are still very good for cotton, maybe not quite as good as we saw a year ago, but certainly still good prices.” 

Peanut acres are expected to increase significantly in the Carolinas this year, due to high contract prices. Honig says that’s the case across the country:

“Like many of the crops showing an increase this year, we expect 1.42 million acres nationwide, that’s almost a 25% increase from last year.” 

And tobacco acres continue to decline:

“Tobacco for 2012 we are expecting producers to harvest 318,000 acres, that’s 2.1% below last year. That would be the second lowest total on record, as we see that crop continue to decline.” 

The January estimate for hard red winter wheat was downgraded in number of acres by just a touch:

“This was actually our second estimate of the season for winter wheat. We are now looking at 41.7 million acres planted for the 2012 crop. That’s up 2.6% or 1.1 million acres from last year, but its down just slightly from the previous estimate in January.”

Lance Honig, with USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service.


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