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July 2, 2013

Corn Acreage is Big Surprise in June Planted Report

Last Friday, NASS released the June Planted Report indicating that 97.4 million acres of corn and 77.7 million acres of soybeans would be planted during the 2013 growing season. The corn planted area is slightly higher than in the March Prospective Planting Report and the soybean planted area is 600,000 acres more than the March Prospective Planting Report. Below is a breakout of how the acreage changed from the March report to the June report.

Change in Corn acreage from March Intensions
Stateto June Planted Report - 2013
Nebraska+300,000
Texas+300,000
Michigan+200,000
North Carolina+60,000
Missouri+50,000
Pennsylvania+20,000
Tennessee-20,000
Kansas-100,000
Wisconsin-100,000
North Dakota-200,000
Iowa-200,000
Minnesota-300,000
Change in Soybean acreage from March Intensions
Stateto June Planted Report - 2013
Missouri +400,000
South Dakota +200,000
Wisconsin +180,000
Arkansas +150,000
Indiana +150,000
North Carolina +120,000
Iowa +100,000
Kentucky +100,000
Nebraska +100,000
Kansas +50,000
Mississippi -30,000
Ohio -100,000
Michigan -200,000
North Dakota -500,000

When the survey for the June Planted report was being completed, there were at least two million acres of corn that had not been planted and NASS assumed that all those acres were going to be planted. A lot of those unplanted acres were in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and North Dakota and I doubt if all those acres did eventually get planted to corn. Some were planted to corn of course, but some were switched to soybeans, some were drowned out, and some were claimed as prevent plant. Unfortunately, we won't know how many acres were claimed as prevent plant until the October Crop Report when the Farm Services Agency certifies the acres. Additionally, NASS indicated that they were not going to do a special survey of corn acres for the August Crop Report, so the corn planted acreage will remain in doubt until October.

Given the type of spring that we have had with record rainfall across many areas of the Midwest, it's very hard to rationalize that farmers ended up planting more corn than what was intended. They did indicate that 91.5% of the planted corn would be harvested for grain, which is less than the normal 92% so NASS did take into account that some of the corn got drowned out. I think eventually the corn planted acreage will decline when all the data is finalized in October and until then I am going to assume a corn planted acreage of 96.4 million acres, which is 1.0 million less than the June Planted Report. If 91.5% of the corn is harvested for grain, then the harvested acreage is projected to be 88.2 million acres.

The soybean planted acreage is more believable at 77.7 million acres, which is 600,000 more than the March Prospective Planting numbers. That number sounds reasonable and I will use their estimate. What does not sound reasonable is that 98.95% of the planted soybeans will be harvested for grain. That would essentially tie the record high percentage of harvested acreage and be higher than most of the recent years. That high of a percentage for the harvested acreage just doesn'Ct seem plausible given all the ponding and saturated conditions this spring and early summer.

Since NASS is going to do a resurvey of the soybean acreage for the August Crop Report, and given the fact that my harvested acreage is essentially identical to that of NASS, I am going to use their acreage and harvested numbers for my estimates, at least until the August Crop Report.