USDA’s latest planted acreage report indicates that U.S. farmers planted 4.1 million more acres to corn in 2011 than they did last year—a near perfect planting and growing season. That’s an increase of 4.6 percent.
While many people in the Corn Belt are scratching their heads at this notion, the markets are taking the news hard. For U.S. pork producers it can provide a temporary reprieve in rising feed costs, but for the long haul, they are still concerned about tight corn supplies. Earlier this year, USDA estimated old-crop corn carryout supplies of just 17 days. While next year’s supplies have a long road of development still ahead, there is much concern that carryover supplies will not improve much from this year’s levels.
The reality is that with price declines, foreign buyers will likely return to the U.S. marekt to shop for corn as global demand is still high. Certainly enthaol plants would have more incentive to keep production humming along.
USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) reported on June 30, that U.S. corn growers planted 92.3 million acres of corn. Those numbers were collected by June 1; significant flooding and other weather-related issues were still developing.
It’s unclear if the report took into consideration acres that have been flooded in recent weeks by the Mississippi and Missouri rivers – from North Dakota to Louisiana and from Illinois to Nebraska.
In addressing issues within his state recently, Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey, has said that grain (including corn) in the state hit by flood waters cannot be used for food or feed. Under state law, flood-damage grain is considered “adulterated” and cannot be used in or for food and feed.
The NASS acreage report also showed U.S. soybean growers planted 2.2 million fewer acres than last year. That raises many questions as well, because it was becoming increasingly likely that the cool, wet, late spring planting would shift some acres from corn to soybeans. According to USDA, a total of 75.2 million acres have been planted to soybeans this year. That would be the lowest since 2007.
Now, USDA officials are saying that they will resurvey corn, soybean and spring wheat acreage in Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota. The survey will take place in July.
Widespread planting delays, heavy rain and flooding are the reasons for this do-over, as even USDA believes there’s need to take another look at plantings.
You can review the acreage, grain stocks and other NASS reports online. www.nass.usda.gov