March planting intentions, stocks report key to price prospects

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Grain Stocks and Prospective Plantings are key reports that will be released by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service on March 30, 2012. The stocks report will show grain stocks as of March 1, 2012. Lower-than expected March 1 stocks would imply greater corn usage than expected in the quarter ending March 1 and would be bullish for prices. A higher-than-expected stock level could moderate prices somewhat. At the February 23-24, 2012, USDA Outlook Conference, corn plantings this spring were projected at 94 million acres. Prices will likely respond if planted acreage is substantially different than this projection. In the past 20 years, the March projection was below the final acreage estimate 8 times and above it 12 times.

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