USDA released the much-anticipated 2014 Prospective Plantings report on March 31. As expected, some corn acreage will be diverted to soybeans, with hay acreage expected to increase only slightly (see table below).
Corn planted area for all purposes in 2014 is estimated at 91.7 million acres, down 4% from last year and down 6% from 2012. If realized, this will represent the lowest planted acreage in the United States since 2010; however, this will represent the fifth largest corn acreage in the United States since 1944.
Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts and Utah are expected to increase planted acreage from last year. If realized, planted acres in Idaho would be a record high.
Expected returns for corn are anticipated to be lower in 2014 compared with recent years.
Soybean planted area for 2014 is estimated at a record high 81.5 million acres, up 6% from last year. Compared with last year, planted acreage intentions are up or unchanged across all states, with the exception of Missouri and Oklahoma.
The largest increase is expected in North Dakota, where farmers intend to plant a record high 5.65 million acres, an increase of 1 million acres from 2013. Compared with last year, large increases in planted area are also expected in Minnesota and Nebraska. If realized, the planted area in Nebraska, New York, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Wisconsin will also be the largest on record.
Producers intend to harvest 58.3 million acres of all hay in 2014, up slightly from 2013. Hay acreage is expected to decrease across the northern and central Great Plains and the Great Lakes regions. Record high acreage is expected in Florida, Oklahoma, and Texas. Record low acreage is expected in Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, and New Hampshire.
Also affecting potential cottonseed supply for dairy producers, all cotton planted area for 2014 is expected to total 11.1 million acres, 7% above last year.
Grain stocks: corn up; soybeans down
In a separate Grain Stocks report, USDA estimated corn stocks in all positions on March 1, 2014 totaled 7.01 billion bushels, up 30% from March 1, 2013. Of the total stocks, 3.86 billion bushels are stored on farms, up 45% from a year earlier. Off-farm stocks, at 3.15 billion bushels, are up 15% from a year ago. The December 2013–February 2014 indicated disappearance is 3.45 billion bushels, compared with 2.63 billion bushels during the same period last year.
Soybeans stored in all positions on March 1, 2014 totaled 992 million bushels, down 1% from March 1, 2013. Soybean stocks stored on farms are estimated at 382 million bushels, down 16% from a year ago. Off-farm stocks, at 610 million bushels, are up 13% from last March. Indicated disappearance for the December 2013–February 2014 quarter totaled 1.16 billion bushels, up 20% from the same period a year earlier.