Prospective Plantings

USDA released its 2019 Prospective Plantings report on today (March 29), information which provides a “snapshot” into what farmers are thinking heading into spring planting.

The report matches the thoughts of analysts who expected that snapshot to include an increase in corn acres and a decrease in soybean acres. Corn planted acreage is expected to be up 4 percent from 2018, with soybean acreage down 5 percent and all wheat acreage down 4 percent. This coming on the heels of a 2018 growing season that saw soybean acreage edge high than corn acreage in the United States for the first time in history.

Corn

Growers intend to plant 92.8 million acres of corn for all purposes in 2019, up 4 percent from last year. If realized, this will be the highest planted acreage since 2016. 30 Prospective Plantings (March 2019) USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service Planted acreage for 2019 is expected to be up or unchanged from 2018 in 34 of the 48 estimating States. Record high acreage is expected in North Dakota with a 29 percent increase from 2018 at an estimated 4.05 million acres. Record low acreage is expected in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. Acreage increases of 400,000 acres or more are expected in Iowa, North Dakota, and South Dakota compared with last year. Minnesota is estimated to have a slight increase (1 percent) in corn acreage in 2019.

Durum wheat

Area seeded to Durum wheat for 2019 is estimated at 1.42 million acres, down 31 percent from 2018. Acreage decreases are expected in all Durum-producing States, except California. Record low planted acreages are estimated in Arizona, Idaho, and North Dakota. Durum wheat seedings in Arizona were nearly complete (98 percent) by March 10 compared with 93 percent complete at the same time last year. North Dakota is estimated for a big drop in durum acres (32 percent).

Soybeans

Growers intend to plant 84.6 million acres in 2019, down 5 percent from last year. Compared with last year, planted acreage intentions are down or unchanged in 26 of the 29 estimating States. Decreases of 300,000 acres or more are anticipated in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. If realized, the planted area in New York and Pennsylvania will be the largest on record. Minnesota is estimated to be down 6 percent on soybean acreage this season.

Winter wheat

The 2019 winter wheat planted area is estimated at 31.5 million acres, down 3 percent from last year but up 1 percent from the previous estimate. This represents the second lowest planted acreage on record for the United States. Of the total acreage, about 22.4 million acres are Hard Red Winter, 5.55 million acres are Soft Red Winter, and 3.55 million acres are White Winter. Record low planted acreage is estimated in Nebraska. 

Other spring wheat

Growers intend to plant 12.8 million acres of spring wheat, down 3 percent from 2018. Of this total, about 12.4 million acres are Hard Red Spring wheat. Compared with last year, acreage decreases are expected in all spring wheat-producing States except Idaho and North Dakota. Planted area in North Dakota, the largest spring wheat-producing State, is estimated at 6.70 million acres, up 2 percent from last year.