View USDA’s June 30 planted acreage report with healthy skepticism

flooded soybeans/Stan Smith photo
Flooded soybeans/Stan Smith photo

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service estimates there are 85.1 million acres of soybeans planted in the United States for 2015, up 2 percent from last year and setting a new record high. That’s according to the NASS Acreage report released June 30.

In contrast, growers planted an estimated 88.9 million acres to corn, the lowest corn acreage in the United States in the last half a decade.

Early June survey

To gauge national crop acreages, NASS surveyed approximately 11,000 segments of land and more than 70,000 producers during the first two weeks of June.

Weather impacted crops across the United States this year. Several of the states experienced droughts, while others saw some of the wettest spring weather in recorded history. As a result of weather conditions, a percentage of acres remained to be planted for cotton in Texas (representing 58 percent of U.S. total); sorghum in Kansas (37 percent of U.S. total); and soybeans in Arkansas, Kansas, and Missouri (representing 15 percent of U.S. total soybeans acreage combined). To ensure accurate final estimates for all crops, NASS will resurvey growers in these states.

  • Soybeans. Soybean area for harvest is forecast at a record high 84.4 million acres, if realized, up nearly 1.4 million acres from 2014. Record high planted acreage is estimated in Kentucky, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Ninety-four percent of all planted acres of soybeans in the United States are herbicide resistant varieties, unchanged from last year.
  • Corn. This year’s planted acreage is at the same level or down across most of the Corn Belt, with the exception of Wisconsin, which saw an increase of nearly 3 percent from 2014. Growers expect to harvest 81.1 million acres of corn for grain, down 2 percent from last year. Ninety-two percent of all corn acres planted in the United States are biotech varieties, down from 93 percent in 2014.
  • All Cotton. All cotton planted area for 2015 is estimated at 9.0 million acres, down 18 percent from year. This is the lowest cotton acreage in the United States since 1983.

Stocks report

NASS also released the quarterly Grain Stocks report today to provide estimates of on-farm and off-farm stocks as of June 1. Key findings in that report include:

  • Soybeans stored totaled 625 million bushels, up 54 percent from June 1, 2014. On-farm soybean stocks were up 126 percent from a year ago, while off-farm stocks were up 28 percent.
  • Corn stocks totaled 4.45 billion bushels, up 15 percent from the same time last year. On-farm corn stocks were up 22 percent from a year ago, and off-farm stocks were up 9 percent.
  • All wheat stored totaled 753 million bushels, up 28 percent from a year ago. On-farm all wheat stocks were up 60 percent from last year, while off-farm stocks were up 21 percent.
  • Durum wheat stored totaled 25.9 million bushels, up 20 percent from June 1, 2014. On-farm Durum wheat stocks were down 20 percent, while the off-farm stocks were up 79 percent from the previous year.

If the newly collected data justify any changes to the current estimates, NASS will publish updated estimates in its Crop Production report  Aug. 12.


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