This Friday at 11 p.m. CST, the USDA will inform the world of their estimate of planted acreage for 21 different crops as intended by farmers in the United States. The estimates are built on surveys that were issued in the first two weeks of March and includes a sampling of nearly 90,000 producers that were contacted via mail, internet, phone and personal interview. In conjunction with these results, mathematical modeling is also used to build out a fuller view of what’s happening.
While there is certainly a large number of crops that will be discussed none will receive as much attention as corn and soybeans. This year the discussion is moving toward 90 million acres of both corn and soybeans. For the first time in history some analysts have begun to suggest that there might be more acres of soybeans than corn.
However, the number given on Friday is not the final word on the matter. The June acreage report will follow, along with other adjustments that will come throughout the course of the year. In the past 20 years the final numbers reported for a crop year reported by the USDA and those numbers initial reported in the prospective plantings report will vary by approximately 1.2 million acres on average for both corn and soybeans. That variance allows for acres to either grow or shrink however it suggests that things might still change.
The jury is out on what USDA will say regardless it will be a very interesting year in terms of what the balance sheets may look like following the release of Friday’s numbers.