On November 30, 2016 USDA released several tables previewing the annual long-term Agricultural Projections to 2026 (the complete projections will be released in February 2017). These early-release tables provide USDA estimates on the supply and demand for agricultural commodities through 2026 and take into consideration macroeconomic conditions, GDP growth, population growth, and farm policy among other factors. USDA assumes in the projections normal weather and no significant supply or demand disruptions, i.e. a business-as-usual environment.

One of the most anticipated items from the early-release are USDA’s projections for planted area in 2017. During 2016, the total planted area for the eight principal crops and conservation reserve program (CRP) was 277.9 million acres. For 2017, USDA projects planted area to decline for all crops except cotton and soybeans, with a total acreage loss of 5.5 million acres to 272.4 million acres, Figure 1. Then, from 2018 to 2026 USDA projects planted area and CRP land to steadily decline to 268 million acres by 2026 – well below the planted area seen in recent years.

Figure 1. USDA projected year-over-year percentage change in planted area for eight principal crops and CRP for 2017/18 marketing year: Source: USDA and AFBF calculations.

To see the complete report, please click here.