Spring wheat, corn plantings top expectations

by Ron Sterk
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WASHINGTON — U.S. farmers intend to plant 92.2 million acres of corn for harvest in 2011, up 5% from 2010, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its annual Prospective Plantings report. Soybean planted area for 2011 was forecast at 76.6 million acres, down 1%. All wheat area for harvest in 2011 was forecast at 58 million acres, up 8% from last year, including 41.2 million acres of winter wheat, up 10% from last year and up 1% from the January estimate. Farmers intend to plant 2.4 million acres of durum, down 8% from last year, and 14.4 million acres of spring wheat other than durum, up 5%, including 13.6 million acres of hard red spring wheat, the U.S.D.A. said.

March 1 all wheat stocks in all positions in the United States were estimated at 1,425 million bus, up 5% from a year ago, the U.S.D.A. said in today’s Grain Stocks report. Corn stocks in all positions were 6,523 million bus, down 15% from last year, and soybean stocks totaled 1,249 million bus, down 2% from March 1, 2010.

The U.S.D.A. corn planting number was above the average trade expectation that was near 91.7 million acres while the U.S.D.A. soybean planting number was below the average trade estimate of 77 million acres. The U.S.D.A. all wheat planting intention forecast was above the trade average of 57.3 million acres, with spring wheat above the trade estimate of 13.7 million acres, durum below the trade average of 2.6 million acres and winter wheat slightly above the trade number of 41.15 million acres.

Traders called the corn and soybean numbers bullish and wheat numbers bearish for opening futures prices.
Check back later this morning for the full story on Prospective Plantings and for the story on March 1 Grain Stocks.

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