Today’s USDA acreage reports are expected to set the tone for prices of both corn and soybeans. The reports have the potential to provide large surprises, notes University of Illinois Agricultural and Consumer Economics Professor Darrel Good.

“The price reaction to the USDA reports will depend on the differences between expected and actual estimates,” Good says. “The estimates for corn hold the most potential for surprises.”

Randy Martinson of Progressive Ag, speaking to media during a Minneapolis Grain Exchange call, noted that he, too, is looking out for the unexpected, particularly with corn.

“The surprise is when you look at the 2013 numbers, the USDA came in and decreased the yield by about 1.5 bushels per acre,” Martinson says. “Everyone was expecting an acre change, but didn’t expect to see that.”

Martinson added that today’s acreage report could set the tone going forward for production.

“Last year, we didn’t see the USDA cut yield until July, when the drought started to take hold a little more,” he said. “Then they made drastic changes after that. Maybe they are being more methodical with the changes this year.”

With the late-planted crop this year, new crop supplies will be much smaller, Good adds.