Farmers to plant record low wheat acres, most soybeans ever

Analysts expect the USDA to report USA corn stocks on March 1 were 8.534 billion bushels, up 9 percent from a year earlier, according to a Reuters poll.

The 2017 Prospective Plantings report based on farmer surveys estimates that corn planted area for all purposes in 2017 will be 90 million acres, down 4 percent or 4.0 million acres from previous year.

The government's prospective planting report was not good news for Nebraska's small grain and sorghum production.

The corn and soybean plantings generally peak the markets' interest as it is more forward looking than the stocks report.

He said wheat overproduction caused prices to collapse and made production unprofitable.

• All wheat planted area for 2017 is estimated at 46.1 million acres, down 8 percent from 2016. Oat intentions are estimated at 120,000 acres, down 11 percent from a year ago. If realized, that would be an increase of 7% from last year's record 83.4 million acres, according to the USDA's Prospective Plantings report.

The state's farmers are also planning to plant 5.2 million acres into corn, an increase of 2 percent from a year ago. Prior to the noon report, corn was up 2 cents, soybeans down 6 cents, and wheat was up 1 cent. Only Florida showed an expected decrease, from 102,000 acres in 2016 to 85,000 acres for 2017. Georgia will still lead the nation in planted acres with an intended 785,000 acres, close to 10 percent more than past year.

Traders in all the markets were waiting for the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to release estimates, the first based on survey of growers, of what domestic farmers will plant this spring. The USDA said MI farmers expect to increase soybean acreage by 14 percent.

Of the major corn-producing states, the largest increases in planted acreage is expected to be in Kansas, where planted acres are expected to increase to 102 percent of their 2016 level.

In the wake of the Friday reports, corn prices trended higher while soybean prices fell on the Chicago Board of Trade. Alabama growers plan 190,000 acres, or 9 percent more than a year ago.

Soybeans stored in all positions totaled 138 million bushels, up 17 percent from a year ago.

"The last couple years beans have been more profitable than corn". On-farm stocks of 45 million bushels are up 10 percent from a year ago and off-farm stocks, at 92.7 million bushels, are up 20 percent from 2016. On-farm all wheat stocks were up 9 percent from previous year, while off-farm stocks were up 24 percent. North Dakota, the biggest durum and spring wheat producer, is expected to see a 10% drop in spring wheat acreage and a 21% drop in durum acreage.

Another good reason to focus just as much attention on the stocks report is that the potential ending stocks outcomes tighten up much more on March 1 than in the December 1 report, the first of the marketing year.

On-farm oat stocks totaled 400 thousand bushels, down 47 percent from 2016.

  • Joanne Flowers