Acreage Resurvey

The USDA plans to resurvey farmers in 14 states in July to provide updated corn and soybean numbers with the August WASDE report.

Grain markets are spiraling in two separate directions today after the USDA released its June Acreage report.

Corn planted was estimated at 91.7 million acres, which would mark a 3% increase from last year. This blew all expectations out of the water, as Allendale pegged the average trade estimate at 86.7 million acres.

Soybeans, on the other hand, saw an estimated acreage number of 80 million acres, which was 4.3 million acres below the average trade estimate.

Corn and wheat tumbled to nearly 20-cent losses on the futures market, while soybeans gained nearly 12 cents as of 2 p.m.

“It’s been a nutso day,” said Bill Moore of the Price Futures Group. “It’s the reverse of what you’d think. I don’t know what’s going on or if the report was done too early, but at the very least you’d think a little corn would go to beans. I don’t know what to say. I’m totally perplexed by that.”

Moore said he doesn’t remember an Acreage report that came out so different from expectations.

As much of the Acreage report comes from surveys taken during early June, the USDA plans to resurvey farmers in 14 states in July to provide updated corn and soybean numbers with the August WASDE report.

Jerry Gidel, analyst for The Price Futures Group, said the fact the USDA resurvey is going to be so wide-ranging limited the day’s impact, both positive and negative, on the markets.

“That helped bring corn prices going into the close off limits,” Gidel said. “This number really doesn’t give us the final number out there.”

Despite the expectation a resurvey will bring the corn acreage down, Gidel said he thinks the estimate of 85 million acres may be a bit low. But even with a higher acreage number, yield needs to be on the forefront of the market.

“I think there’s a possibility of 86 or 87 million acres,” he said. “The other twist is if they really believe their number is correct, they have to look at this yield number that will come out in July. If you have this many acres of late planting, you really have a chance to bring that yield down nationwide.”

With a lot of uncertainty surrounding Friday’s report, Moore said it might be best to wait and see how everything shakes out in the market.

“It’s just hard to make a judgement today,” he said. “I think you let the dust settle today and see what the market does over the weekend. It’s so off the wall it’s hard to comment on it.”