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WASDE Estimates Corn and Soybeans Acreage Planted to Increase in 2018 - Washington Report

Last week, the USDA’s World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB) provided early release tables that will be included in their long-term annual projections to 2027, reports Steiner Consulting Group, DLR Division, Inc.

The link to the tables is here; the complete write-up will be released in February 2018.  The report’s baseline supply and utilization balance sheets include cattle, hogs, poultry, dairy, and major crops.

WASDE estimates that both corn and soybean acreage planted will increase year-over-year in 2018.

Corn Highlights: For 2018, corn plantings is projected to be 91 million acres, an increase of about 600,000 acres compared to 2017’s.

They do forecast a year-over-year drop in the national average corn yield per acre, resulting in bushels to be produced about unchanged from this year’s. Total corn use (feed, ethanol, exports, and food) in 2018 is forecast to be essentially unchanged.  The result is a further year-over-year build-up of corn in storage (about 4 percent as of 1 September 2019).

The national average corn price received by farmers for the 2018-2019 crop-marketing year at $3.30 per bushel would be 10 cents above 2016-2017.

For the balance of the forecast period (2019-2020 through 2027-2028), the USDA’s baseline calls for a trend of fewer corn acres planted and higher yields per acre.  For example, in 2023-2024, plantings could be about 85.5 million acres and yield larger than 180 bushels for the first time.

USDA’s long-term assumption of normal weather keeps the national average annual corn price in the $3.30 to $3.60 per bushel range for the next 10 years.

Soybeans and Meal: Historically, the United States has planted more corn than soybean acres, but that picture may be changing.

The WAOB put 2018 soybean plantings at 91.0 million acres, the same as corn, and 800,000 above 2017’s. In 2019, they have soybean acreage in the United States exceeding corn for the first time.

The primary factor underlying the rise in soybean cultivation is increasing demand from China for soybeans, soybean oil, and soybean meal.

For the next 10 years, the forecast is for US soybean acreage planted to range between 91.0 and 92.0 million acres.  USDA is generally projecting higher yields. However, the pace of growth is much less than that of corn.

Soybean meal is a very important feedstuff, especially in the hog and poultry sectors. For 2017/2018 the projection is for meal to average $315.00 per ton.  With normal weather, the price range for the next 10 years is between $325.00 and $350.00 per ton.