The highly anticipated USDA Prospective Planting report released today projects planted acres of corn and wheat to be up this year while soybeans are nearly the same as 2022, making for tight soybean supplies.
The report pegged 2023 corn acres at 92 million. This projection is up 4% from last year and above USDA’s 91 million acres projection released in February.
The February estimates were based on historical data. The report released today is based on farmer survey data.
Successful Farming partnered with Kluis Commodity Advisors on a survey released earlier this week. The Kluis/SF survey projected 90.5 million acres for 2023.
The report pegged 2023 soybean acres at 87.5 million. This projection is up just slightly from last year and in line with the estimate USDA released in February.
The Kluis/SF survey projected 86.5 million acres for 2023.
The report pegged 2023 wheat acres at 49.9 million, up 9% from 2022. It is also an increase from the estimate USDA released in February of 49.5 million acres.
The Kluis/SF survey projected 49.5 million acres for 2023.
Altogether USDA is estimating a total of 229.4 million corn, soybean, and wheat acres for 2023.
Quarterly Grain Stocks
USDA also released the quarterly Grain Stocks report today.
The USDA report pegged U.S. corn stocks as of March 1, 2023, at 7.40 billion bushels, nearly in line with the trade’s expectation of 7.47 billion bushels and down 5% from a year ago.
For soybeans, USDA pegged the quarterly grain stocks at 1.69 billion bushels, below the trade’s expectation of 1.74 billion bushels, down 13% from a year ago.
USDA says U.S. wheat quarterly grain stocks are at 946 million bushels, above the trade’s expectation of 934 million bushels and down 8% from a year ago.
Al Kluis, managing director of Kluis Commodity Advisors, says the most shocking news of the day is how far off USDA’s soybean stocks number was from the trade expectation. He says the tight stocks number combined with 87.5 million planted acres is a positive market factor for soybeans and he expects higher prices to come.
“That has to be one of the biggest misses I’ve ever seen,” he says.
But he cautions today’s report is a projection.
“These numbers can and will change by June, and the market’s job is to try to buy more bean acres between now and when farmers stop planting,” he says.
Bob Linneman, commodities broker with Kluis Commodity Advisors, adds, “The trade estimates and the USDA assume limited prevent plant and normal weather. That projection has only worked out twice in the last eight years. Current conditions and expected forecasts for areas in South Dakota, North Dakota, and western Minnesota have pushed many farmers to increase crop insurance coverage, including additional prevent plant coverage.”
Nick Tsiolis, founder of Farmer’s Keeper, says, “Corn is still king today with a higher than expected acreage number, but still in line with the range of analyst estimates. That looks to have taken away acreage from soybeans, resulting in a price spike after the report. The real test will be if soybeans can sustain those levels or move higher. Or will the market come back from a weekend and take profits?”