It is expected that more corn and soybean acres will be planted in 2013, University of Missouri agriculture business specialist David Reinbott told  “Corn acres this year will likely be about 99 million acres, which is 2 million more than last year,” he said.  “With a more normal weather pattern, most trend-line yield calculations put yield at 162 bushels an acre.”

Planted acres of soybeans are also expected to increase about 2 million acres to 79 million in 2013.  Reinbott said that using 42- bushels-yield per acre would create a crop of about 3.3 billion bushels.  Weather will continue to play a big role in the grain fields this year, he said.

“It is still pretty dry in the western Corn Belt,” Reinbott said.  “Some numbers have come out indicating that many parts of the southern Plains and western Corn Belt need significant rain just to get them back to normal.”  If there is plentiful rain that leads to a large crop, prices for both corn and soybeans will drop, he explained.  Depending on how big the crop is, corn prices could drop into the low $4 per bushel and possibly the upper $3 range per bushel, and soybeans could drop by $2-3 per bushel.

Reinbott also advised keeping an eye on South America’s corn crop.  Both Argentina and Brazil now look to have a good crop rebounding from last year’s poor harvest, but that could change.  “If it turns dry the second half of the season, that could drop significantly,” he added.  “So corn still has variability.  It could go higher; it just depends on how that Brazilian and Argentina crop goes.”