Where did all the acres go?

The table is set for the 2024 growing season, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released its survey-based estimate of what the spring acreage mix will be for the coming season. 

The report uses responses from nearly 72,000 farm operators for a survey sent out every year in the first two weeks of March. While impossible to be 100% accurate, it is generally assumed the statistical error in the survey is somewhere between 1% and 3%. 

In this year’s survey, producers reported to the USDA that they intended to plant 90 million acres of corn and 86.5 million acres of soybeans in the coming season. This combined total of 176.5 million acres is nearly 2 million acres less than last year. When you add in the rest of the principal ...