USDA stunned the grain and soybean trade last Friday morning by pegging U.S. corn plantings well above expectations at nearly 93 million acres and putting soybean planted acres well below expectations at just over 64 million.

The soybean acreage figure looks extremely bullish for soybean prices, while the corn market should feel a negative impact from the huge corn acreage figure.

USDA pegged U.S. corn plantings at 92.888 million acres, versus trade estimates averaging 90.585 million acres in a range from 89.25-91.704 million acres.

USDA’s corn acreage figure represents a 2.7% increase from the March planting intentions of 90.454 million acres and an 18.6% increase over last year’s plantings of 78.327 million acres. Planted acreage is the highest since 1944.

USDA pegged U.S. soybean plantings at 64.081 million acres, compared with trade estimates averaging 67.838 million acres in a range from 66.0-69.0 million.

The USDA soybean acreage figure represents a 4.6% drop from the March planting intentions of 67.14 million acres and a15.1% drop from last year’s plantings of 75.522 million acres. Planted acreage is the lowest since 1995, when producers planted only 62.495 million acres of soybeans.

Wheat prices may find further support from USDA’s estimate of U.S. spring wheat plantings. USDA pegged “other” spring wheat plantings at 13.144 million acres, well below trade expectations, which averaged 13.835 million acres, and 5.1% below planting intentions, which were reported at 13.808 million acres back in March. Spring wheat acres are down 11.8% from last year.

Durum plantings came in higher than expected at 2.225 million acres, compared with trade estimates averaging 1.996 million acres and the March intentions of 1.990 million acres.

Total spring wheat/durum acres still came in 462,000 below the March intentions and 1.4 million acres below last year’s plantings.

The cotton market also saw bullish acreage news from USDA, as the acreage pegged upland cotton plantings at 10.76 million acres against trade expectations averaging 11.56 million acres. The cotton plantings figure was down 11.4% from the March intentions figure of 12.15 million acres and 29.5% from last year’s plantings of 15.27 million acres.

Editor’s note: Richard Brock, The Corn And Soybean Digest's Marketing Editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.

To see more market perspectives, visit Brock's Web site at www.brockreport.com.

Read more articles from Richard Brock >