Near record corn acres forecast, stocks down 10 percent

By Susanne Retka Schill | March 28, 2013

In two reports released March 28, the USDA reported farmers plan to seed near record acres of corn this spring that could potentially refill the nation’s grain stocks, reported to be down 10 percent from a year ago.

In the first prospective plantings report, USDA reports corn growers intend to plant 97.3 million acres of corn for all purposes in 2013, up slightly from last year and 6 percent higher than in 2011. If realized, this will represent the highest planted acreage in the United States since 1936 when an estimated 102 million acres were planted. The USDA reports soybean area for 2013 is estimated at 77.1 million acres, down slightly from last year but the fourth highest on record, if realized.

In the Grain Stocks report, USDA says corn stocks in all positions on March 1 totaled 5.40 billion bushels, down 10 percent from a year ago. Of the total stocks, 2.67 billion bushels are stored on farms, down 16 percent from a year earlier and off-farm stocks, at 2.73 billion bushels, are down 4 percent. The December 2012 to February 2013 indicated disappearance is 2.63 billion bushels, compared with 3.62 billion bushels during the same period last year.

Grain sorghum stored in all positions on March 1 totaled 91.4 million bushels, down 15 percent from a year ago. On-farm stocks, at 10.9 million bushels, are down 15 percent from last March and off-farm stocks, at 80.5 million bushels, are also down 15 percent from a year earlier. The December 2012 to February 2013 indicated disappearance from all positions is 48.5 million bushels, up 13 percent from the same period last year.

In other crops, soybeans stored in all positions on March 1 totaled 999 million bushels, down 27 percent from last year and all wheat stored in all positions totaled 1.23 billion bushels, up 3 percent from a year ago.