USDA Prospective Plantings: Corn acreage up; soybeans down a little

U.S. corn growers intend to plant 97.3 million acres of corn for all purposes in 2013, up slightly from last year and 6% more than 2011, according to USDA’s Prospective Plantings report, released March 28. If realized, this will represent the highest planted acreage in the United States since 1936, when an estimated 102 million acres were planted.

Soybean planted area for 2013 is estimated at 77.1 million acres, down slightly from last year but the fourth highest on record, if realized. Compared with 2012, planted area is down across the Great Plains with the exception of North Dakota. Nebraska and Minnesota are expecting the largest declines compared with last year, while Illinois and North Dakota are expecting the largest increases.

All wheat planted area for 2013 is estimated at 56.4 million acres, up 1% from 2012. However, that varies by region and type of wheat. For example, the 2013 winter wheat planted area, at 42.0 million acres, is 2% above last year and up slightly from the previous estimate. Area planted to other spring wheat for 2013 is expected to total 12.7 million acres, up 3% from 2012. But, the intended Durum wheat planted area for 2013 is estimated at 1.75 million acres, down 18% from the previous year, with sharpest declines in Arizona, California and Idaho.


Hay acreage

USDA also estimated the 2013 area to be harvested for all hay, based on producer intentions. Hay will be harvested from about 56.419 million acres, virtually unchanged from 2012 actual harvested acreage, but up about 766,000 acres from 2011.



For dairy producers feeding cottonseed, cotton appears to one of the crops most affected by higher corn acreage. Planted area for 2013 is expected to total 10.0 million acres, 19% less than last year.


Grain Stocks report

USDA also released its latest Grain Stocks report on March 28.

Corn stocks in all positions on March 1, 2013 totaled 5.40 billion bushels, down 10% from March 1, 2012. Of the total stocks, 2.67 billion bushels are stored on farms, down 16% from a year earlier. Off-farm stocks, at 2.73 billion bushels, were down 4% from a year ago. The December 2012-February 2013 indicated disappearance is 2.63 billion bushels, compared with 3.62 billion bushels during the same period last year. 

Soybeans stored in all positions on March 1, 2013 totaled 999 million bushels, down 27% from March 1, 2012. Soybean stocks stored on farms are estimated at 457 million bushels, down 18% from a year ago. Off-farm stocks, at 543 million bushels, were down 34% from last March. Indicated disappearance for the December 2012-February 2013 quarter totaled 967 million bushels, down 3% from the same period a year earlier. 

• To see the full Prospective Plantings report, visit

• To see the latest USDA Grain Stocks report, visit