Good said that for soybeans, acreage that had been reported to FSA as planted totaled 74.659 million, 2.598 million more than reported the previous month. Based on survey data, NASS has estimated planted acreage at 77.178 million acres. Planted acreage reported to FSA as of the September report accounted for 96.7 percent of the total estimated by NASS and the difference was 2.519 million acres. Over the previous six years, the final total soybean acreage reported to FSA averaged 98.2 percent of the final NASS estimate of planted acreage, in a range of 97.1 to 98.8 percent. The difference between the FSA and NASS acreage estimates averaged 1.304 million acres, in a range of 0.917 million in 2008 to 1.884 million in 2007. “History suggests that the current gap between FSA and NASS acreage numbers will narrow by about one million acres,” Good said.
Planted acreage of soybeans reported to FSA increased from September to the final estimate by only 190,000 acres in 2011 and 161,000 in 2012, suggesting that the NASS estimate this year could be reduced by as much as 800,000 acres, Good concluded. “That is not a large decline and is well within the experience of the past 10 years. With an average yield of 41.2 bushels, an 800,000-acre reduction in the estimate of harvested acreage would reduce the soybean production estimate by 33 million bushels and result in year-ending stocks of about 120 million bushels, based on current consumption forecasts,” he said.
Depending on average yield, the potential change in the estimate of harvested acreage of corn is not likely to be large enough to alter prospects of surplus supplies, but could be large enough to stabilize corn prices, according to Good. “Any change in the estimate of harvested acreage of soybeans is not expected to be large, but could confirm prospects for another year of very tight stocks that would support prices at or above the current level.”