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June 25, 2014

Wetness Causes Uncertainly for June Planted Report

The ponding and localized flooding caused by the recent heavy rains is now casting a shadow over the June Planted Report which will be released on June 30th. The survey for the report was conducted in early June before the heavy rains moved into the northwestern Corn Belt. Therefore, any lost acreage caused by the saturated conditions probably will not be accounted for in the June report.

I think it is likely that the eventual harvested acreage for both corn and soybeans will end up lower that what will be reported in the June Planted Report. Collectively, the ponding, flooding, and hail damage may end up reducing the harvested acreage by as much as 2 million acres. Even though there are more acres of corn planted in the U.S. than soybeans, I think the impact of the flooding may be more important for the soybeans than for the corn because soybeans cannot take these wet conditions as well as corn. Therefore, I would say half the acres lost would be corn and half would be soybeans.

I have been using a corn planted acreage of 91.7 million acres, which was the same as the March Intensions Report. With the recent problems, there is a high likelihood that the actual corn planted area will be lower than that will be reported in the June Planted Report and it might now be closer to 91.0 million acres.

For soybeans, I have been using a planted acreage of 82.5 million acres or one million more than the March Intensions with the possibility that it might go even higher. After the damage caused by the storms, I think we now need to be more conservative in our soybean estimates. I now think the soybean acreage might be only a half a million more than the March Intensions. Since we never know if the March Intensions are accurate or not, I will not make any official adjustments in my acreage numbers until after we get the June Planted report next week.

After the June report, the next opportunity for the USDA to adjust the corn and soybean acreage will be the August Crop report. Part of the survey for the August Report includes asking farmers how many acres they intend to harvest and their expected yields, so an acreage adjustment could be made in the report. Under special circumstances the USDA may conduct a separate survey in selected states in an attempt to ascertain how many acres may have been flooded out. There has been not been any indication at this point that such a survey will be conducted.