The latest Farm Futures survey results are showing lower crop prices and could mean fewer corn and soybeans acres than previous projections. Tightening profit margins and an uncertain global economic outlook are forcing farmers to reevaluate plans to increase corn and soybeans acreage in 2012 according to Farm Futures magazine’s latest survey of planting intentions.
While growers still hope to increase corn seedings this spring, new estimates acreage at 93.6 million, down 300,000 from its first survey in August. That would be a 1.8% jump over the 91.9 million planted in 2011. The latest indications suggest soybean acres could be slightly lower than 2011 at 74.9 million, 2 million less than the August estimate.
“Corn remains the most profitable crop for Midwest farmers, but lower prices could bring less expansion. Though most growers would like to plant more soybeans to improve rotations, at the end of the day money talks.” This according to Senior Editor Brice Knorr of Farm Futures.
Wheat acreage could also see significant changes for 2012, especially with weather such an issue for farmers in recent years. Estimates for total wheat acres at 59.2 million, up 1% from its August estimate and almost 9% higher than 2011.
Hard red winter wheat acreage rose to 31.6 million, up almost 9% from 2011, and 1.3 million more than the fall survey. However farmers in the eastern Midwest weren’t able to plant as much soft red winter wheat due to delays in harvesting other crops in 2011. The survey put soft red seedings at 7.5 million, down around 10% for 2011. With white winter wheat unchanged at 3.7 million, total winter wheat plantings could reach 42.8 million, up 400,000 from August and 2.2 million more than 2011.
Corn yields could fall around 1 bushel per acre nationwide putting the average yield at 145.75 bushels per acre, for a crop of 12.228 billion bushels. The decrease is in line with the historical tendency from past years when the agency cut its forecast in November. While farmers worldwide focus on corn, fewer soybean acres could tighten soybean stocks.