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USDA Report Summary
Tuesday, March 31, 2015 2:21PM CDT

By Chris Clayton
DTN Ag Policy Editor

WASHINGTON (DTN) -- Farmers are projected to plant record acreage for soybeans this year, but USDA's Prospective Plantings report estimates planted soybean acres will come in at 84.64 million acres, slightly below pre-report averages.

Planted corn acres are projected at 89.2 million acres, which is 2% less than last year but slightly higher than the pre-report average from analysts.

Prospective Plantings and Quarterly Grain Stocks: http://www.nass.usda.gov/…


At 84.64 million acres, soybean planting would be a record crop and up 1% from last year. Compared to 2014, USDA projects soybean acres will be higher in 21 of the 31 top soybean-producing states. Still, the overall projection comes in at the lower range of pre-report estimates that went from 83.1 ma to 87.5 ma.


With total planted corn acres projected at 89.2 million, USDA projects corn acres will be 2% less than in 2014. If that holds true, it also marks the lowest acreage since 2010 and the third consecutive year that planted corn acres have declined. The biggest projected acreage decline would be in South Dakota, where USDA projects a 600,000-acre drop in corn acres.


USDA projects all-wheat acres will be 55.4 million, down 3% from 2014. USDA pegged winter wheat acres at 40.8 million, up 1% from previous estimates. All spring wheat is projected at 13 million acres, down slightly from 2014. Of that total, 12.1 million acres will be Hard Red Spring wheat. Durum acres are projected at 1.65 million, up 18% from 2014.


USDA projects grain sorghum acres will increase 11% to 7.9 million acres. Cotton acres, however, will decline 13% to 9.55 million acres.


Quarterly stocks for soybeans on March 1 totaled 1.33 billion bushels, up 34% from a year ago. On-farm stocks totaled 609 million bushels, up 60% from March 1, 2014. Off-farm stocks totaled 725 million bushels, up 18% from a year ago. Disappearance from December 2014-February 2015 totaled 1.19 billion bushels, up 3% from the same period last year.


Quarterly stocks for corn in all positions totaled 7.74 billion bushels, up 11% from a year ago. Farmers are still storing 4.38 billion bushels, up 13% from March 2014 on-farm stocks. Off-farm stocks totaled 3.36 billion bushels, up 7% from a year ago. The December 2014-February 2015 disappearance is 3.47 billion bushels, compared with 3.44 billion bushels from the same period last year.


All wheat stored totaled 1.12 billion bushels, up 6% from a year ago. On-farm stocks are estimated at 279 million bushels, up 17% from last March. Off-farm stocks total 846 million bushels, up 3% from last year. The quarterly disappearance is 405 million bushels, down 3% from a year ago.


In its Quarterly Grain Stocks report, USDA estimated that March 1 stocks of U.S. corn totaled 7.74 billion bushels, more than expected. U.S. soybean stocks totaled 1.33 billion bushels, a little less than expected. U.S. wheat stocks totaled 1.12 billion bushels, also a little less than expected.

"Some will note that corn stocks are at their highest level in over 10 years, soybeans stocks are at their highest level in three years, and wheat stocks are the most in two years," said DTN Analyst Todd Hultman. "However, the rate of disappearance is the more important factor and, on that front, 50% of beginning corn supplies and 67% of beginning soybean supplies have been used after two quarters in 2014-15. Tuesday's grain stocks report from USDA is neutral to bearish for corn, but bullish for soybeans and wheat."

In its Prospective Plantings report, USDA estimated corn plantings at 89.2 million acres, more than expected, but down from 90.6 million acres a year ago. Soybean plantings were estimated at 84.6 million acres, less than expected, but up from 83.7 million acres a year ago. All-wheat plantings were estimated at 55.4 million acres, slightly less than expected and down from 56.8 million acres a year ago. Of the total, 29.6 million acres are estimated for HRW wheat, 7.75 million acres for SRW wheat, and 3.43 million acres for white winter wheat.

"Tuesday's planting estimates are bearish for new-crop corn, bullish for new-crop soybeans, and neutral for new-crop wheat," Hultman said.

USDA also estimated cotton plantings at 9.55 million acres, a little more than expected, but down from 11.04 million planted acres in 2014-15.

Editor's note: Join DTN Senior Analyst Darin Newsom at 12 p.m. CDT on Tuesday for an analysis of the Quarterly Grain Stocks and Prospective Plantings reports and a discussion on what they might mean for grain market outlooks. Sign up now at: www.dtnpf.com/promo/webinars.

QUARTERLY STOCKS (million bushels)
3/1/15 Average High Low 12/1/14 3/1/14
Corn 7,745 7,628 7,810 7,459 11,211 7,008
Soybeans 1,334 1,341 1,400 1,273 2,528 994
Wheat 1,124 1,143 1,200 1,083 1,530 1,057
Grain Sorghum 119 126 130 122 223 176
ACREAGE (million acres) USDA
3/31/15 Average High Low 2014-15
Corn 89.20 88.68 89.70 87.00 90.60
Soybeans 84.64 85.87 87.50 83.10 83.70
All Wheat 55.37 55.61 56.70 55.00 56.82
Spring 13.00 13.24 14.50 12.50 13.03
Durum 1.65 1.73 2.30 1.50 1.40
Grain Sorghum 7.90 7.60 7.80 7.40 7.14


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