AGRIBUSINESS: Economist Says Plenty Can Still Influence Planting

American Farm Bureau Federation Crops Economist Todd Davis notes the Prospective Plantings report from USDA provides an indication of what farmers intend to plant as of early March – and says the influence of still-dry soils, volatile commodity prices and weather uncertainty will play out and could change what farmers plant.

Based on the forecast for corn planting this year and a trend yield of 163.54-bushels per acre – the final U.S. corn crop could yield around 14.6-billion bushels.

Using USDA’s February yield projection of 44.4-bushels per acre – Davis says the intended 77.1-million soybean acres would produce a record soybean crop of 3.38-billion bushels. If the early planting and yield projections are realized – Davis says corn and soybean stocks will increase – which would ultimately lead to lower feed costs for livestock and poultry farmers.

According to USDA’s March 1 survey of grain – the nation’s corn inventory is 5.4-billion bushels – down 10-percent from a year ago. Soybean stocks were measured at 999-million bushels – down 27-percent from a year prior.

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