The last time the United States planted as many corn acres as USDA is predicting for this year, Franklin D. Roosevelt was just entering his second term as president.
It was 1937 when an estimated 97.2 million acres were planted. This year, the USDA Prospective Planting report predicts that corn growers will plant nearly 96 million acres – 95.9 million to be exact. That’s four percent more than last year and nine percent higher than in 2010. Corn acres are expected to increase or stay the same in 40 states, with the biggest increases in Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota and Ohio.
Meanwhile, soybean acreage is expected to be down about one percent at 73.9 million and wheat up three percent at 55.9 million.
If we get that much corn in the ground and Mother Nature is kind, it could very well more than make up for the lower grain stocks reported in the Quarterly Report, also out today. In that summary, USDA says corn stocks are 8% lower than they were a year ago at just over 6 billion bushels. Of that, 3.19 billion bushels are stored on farms, down 6% from last year.
The weather continues to be amazing all over the country and some planting is already underway in southern areas. we’ll find out just how much is getting planted on Monday when USDA’s first crop progress report is released.