On March 31, USDA released its annual prospective plantings report, which outlines planting expectations for the upcoming year. USDA makes these estimates using survey data and historical data relationships. Conducted in early March 2015, the survey sought planted acreage plans from a sample of more than 84,000 farm operators.
The following three points and chart summarize the estimated planted acreage data shared in the USDA prospective plantings report.
1) Corn estimate suggests another drop in planted acreage. For 2015, USDA estimates that U.S. farmers will plant nearly 89.2 million acres to corn, which is a 1.5 percent reduction from 2014 national corn planted acreage. USDA attributes the corn planted acreage decrease to lower expected prices and returns.
2) USDA estimates a record for soybean planted acreage. The agency projects that U.S. producers will plant nearly 84.64 million soybean acres during 2015. If this estimate holds true, then soybean planted acreage would break a record high, and 2015 planted acreage would increase 1.1 percent relative to 2014 planted acreage. Note that soybean planted acreage in some areas may change as weather becomes a factor for producers meeting their corn-planting goals. For more information about weather’s possible effects, see this story from AgWeb.
3) Of corn, soybeans and winter wheat crops, winter wheat planted acreage is projected to change most from 2014 to 2015. The USDA report suggests that U.S. winter wheat planted acreage declines 3.9 percent in 2015 compared with 2014. This follows winter wheat planted acreage also declining from 2013 to 2014.