Spring wheat, soybean area tops expectations

by Ron Sterk
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WASHINGTON — Area planted to corn in 2014 is estimated down 4% from 2013 but soybean area is expected to jump 11% and spring wheat area other than durum is seen up 10%, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its June 30 annual Acreage report. Soybean planted and harvested area will be record high if realized.

Area planted to corn was estimated at 91,641,000 acres, down 50,000 acres from March intentions of 91,691,000 acres and down 3,724,000 acres, or 4%, from 95,365,000 acres in 2013, the U.S.D.A. said. Corn area for harvest was estimated at 83,839,000 acres, down 3,829,000 acres, or 4%, from 87,668,000 acres a year ago.

“This represents the lowest planted acreage in the United States since 2010; however, this is the fifth largest corn acreage in the United States since 1944,” the U.S.D.A. said.

The corn planted area was below the average of trade expectations of 91,787,000 acres. Corn futures prices fell 10c to 15c a bu after the release of the report, with some contracts down more than 20c a bu nearer the close, on pressure from higher-than-expected June 1 corn stocks numbers and pressure from sharply lower soybean and Chicago wheat futures prices.

Soybean planted area was estimated at 84,839,000 acres, up 3,346,000 acres, or 4%, from March intentions of 81,493,000 acres, and up 8,306,000 acres, or 11%, from 76,533,000 acres last year, the U.S.D.A. said. Area for harvest was estimated at 84,058,000 acres, up 8,189,000 acres, or 11%, from 75,869,000 acres in 2013.

Soybean planted area was up or unchanged in all of the 31 estimating states except Oklahoma, which showed a 20,000-acre decrease, the U.S.D.A. said.

The soybean planted area was well above the average trade pre-report estimate of 82,173,000 acres and even above the high end of the trade range. Soybean futures prices plunged more than 50c a bu after the report with some contracts down more than 70c a bu nearer the close.

Durum seeded area was estimated at 1,469,000 acres, down 330,000 acres, or 18%, from March intentions of 1,799,000 acres, but down just 1,000 acres from 1,470,000 acres in 2013. Durum area for harvest was estimated at 1,418,000 acres, down 3,000 acres from 1,421,000 acres in 2013.

Area seeded to spring wheat other than durum was estimated at 12,709,000 acres, up 700,000 acres, or 6%, from March intentions of 12,009,000 acres, and up 1,113,000 acres, or 10%, from 11,596,000 acres in 2013. Area intended for harvest was estimated at 12,403,000 acres, up 1,069,000 acres, or 9%, from 11,334,000 acres in 2013. Total hard red spring wheat planted area was estimated at 12 million acres, the U.S.D.A. said.

Winter wheat planted in 2013 for harvest in 2014 was estimated at 42,296,000 acres, up 289,000 acres from the June Crop Production report but down 794,000 acres, or 2%, from 43,090,000 acres a year ago. Harvested area was estimated at 32,419,000 acres, down 153,000 acres from 32,572,000 acres in June but up 17,000 acres from 32,402,000 acres in 2013. Area planted to hard red winter wheat was 30.4 million acres, to soft red winter was 8.5 million acres and to white winter was 3.41 million acres, the U.S.D.A. said.

“Harvested acres are up significantly from last year in the northern Great Plains and Rocky Mountain regions,” the U.S.D.A. said. “Conversely, decreases from last year are expected throughout the soft red winter growing region due to reduced planted acres. “The southern Great Plains harvested areas is forecasted at 13.6 million acres, down 3% from last year and the second lowest harvested area since 1957. The harvested to planted ratio in Oklahoma is forecasted at 57%, the second lowest ratio on record, only behind 1983.”

All wheat planted area was estimated at 56,474,000 acres, up 659,000 acres, or 1%, from 55,815,000 acres indicated in March and up 318,000 acres, or less than 1%, from 56,156,000 acres a year ago. Harvest area was estimated at 46,240,000 acres, up 1,083,000 acres, or 2%, from 45,157,000 acres a year ago.

U.S.D.A. planting estimate for spring wheat and all wheat were above trade expectations but the durum number was below average expectations. Wheat futures prices traded down about 10c to 15c a bu after the reports.

Area planted to grain sorghum was estimated at 7,471,000 acres, down 7% from 8,061,000 acres in 2013, while harvested area was forecast at 6,399,000 acres, down 2% from 6,530,000 acres last year.

Oats planted area was estimated at 3,027,000 acres, up 17,000 acres from 3,010,000 acres in 2013 but still the forth lowest planted area on record. Harvested area was forecast at 1,153,000 acres, up 123,000 acres, or 12%, from 1,030,000 acres in 2013, but also the fourth lowest on record.

Rice planted area was estimated at 3,047,000 acres, up 22% from 2,489,000 acres in 2013, with harvested area forecast at 3,026,000 acres, up 23% from 2,468,000 acres last year.

Area planted to peanuts in 2014 was estimated at 1,315,000 acres, up 23% from 1,067,000 acres in 2013, with harvested area forecast at 1,280,000 acres, up 23% from 1,042,000 acres in 2013.

Sugar beet planted area was estimated at 1,162,100 acres, down 36,000 acres, or 3%, from 1,198,100 acres in 2013, with harvested area forecast at 1,134,100 acres, down 19,900 acres, or 2%, from 1,154,000 acres last year. Sugar cane harvested area was forecast at 879,000 acres, down 31,800 acres, or 3%, from 2013.
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