June 7, 2011
2011 U.S. Planted and Harvested Acreage Still Uncertain
Estimating the 2011 U.S. corn and soybean acreage is being complicated by a series of events this spring including:
- Delayed planting in the northwestern Corn Belt including North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota. Farmers in the region had indicated that they were going to plant more corn this year, but springtime weather has been too wet in many locations so some of the intended corn acres will be prevent plant and some will be switched to other crops probably soybeans. In these three states there is still approximately 1.0 million acres of corn unplanted.
- Delayed planting in the eastern Corn Belt including Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan. Recent improvements in the weather in the eastern Corn Belt have allowed farmers to plant a lot of their corn just at the last minute so there will probably be less corn claimed as prevent plant or switched to additional soybean production than what had been expected a few weeks ago. In these three states there is still approximately 3.0 million acres of corn unplanted.
- Flooded areas along Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. We have known about the flooding along the Mississippi River for quite some time, but flooding along the Missouri River was not envisioned several weeks ago. The corn flooded out along both of these rivers and their tributaries will be counted as planted, but then abandoned. The extent of the lost acreage is still an open question, but I estimate that maybe 500,000 acres of corn will be lost along the Mississippi River and another 500,000 acres could be lost along the Missouri River depending on the severity of the flooding.
- Increased corn acreage planted in Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas. It's not all bad news for the corn crop because the farmers in Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas had a good spring planting season and they probably planted more corn than what they had anticipated earlier in the spring, especially in Iowa. As a result, these three states may have picked up three quarters to a million acres of additional corn (but some of that may be lost to the flooding).