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Does the USDA Planting Intention’s Report show the Complete Picture? [Feb. 21]

Question: Will more acres be planted than predicted?

By Amanda Brodhagen,

On Friday, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its planting intentions report. In the USDA’s 2014 U.S. balance sheet - projections noted that U.S. farmers intend on planting about 227 million acres of corn, soybean and wheat acres. This projection is down 1.5 million acres from the total of 228.5 million acres that was outlined in the 2014 USDA Baseline projections report that was released Feb. 13, 2014.

See chart below for all of the highlights and summary:

Moe Agostino, Managing Commodity Strategist for questions the USDA assumptions in preparing the numbers.  

“As we all know, in 2013 the U.S. farmer was not able to plant 8.3 million acres -- prevent plant insurance acres-- into corn, soybeans and wheat due to the wet spring of 2013,” he said.  “In 2014, there will also be 800,000 acres that will also come out of the U.S. CRP program.”

“We believe that the USDA has not accounted for 9.1 million acres,” adds Agostino.  “The 8.3 million acres that was not included because of the wet spring in 2013 and the 800,000 acres from CRP.  The USDA is making the assumption that due to lower acres, the U.S. farmer will not plant these acres in 2014 and that they will now disappear in 2014.”

What’s the risk?

“If the USDA is wrong, we could see an additional 5 to 6 million more acres in the 2014 USDA March Planting Intentions report scheduled for release on March 31, 2014.  If a farmer waits to make his marketing decisions until April 1, 2014 -- ‘April Fool’s Day’ it might be too late.”

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