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March 2017 – Crop Market Update

March 2017 – Crop Market Update

In late February 2017 USDA held the annual Agricultural Outlook Forum and updated expectations for 2017/18 cropland planted area, production, and prices. Total cropland area for the eight principal crops was projected at 249.8 million acres, down 1.4 percent from 2016. If realized this would be the lowest planted area since 2011 when 249 million acres were planted to the eight crops including corn, soybeans, wheat, barley, sorghum, oats, rice, and cotton.

Many of the crops are expected to see declines in planted area. Corn area is projected to decline by 4 million acres, -4.3%, to 90 million acres, Figure 1. Wheat is also projected to lose nearly 4 million acres, -8.3%, to 46 million acres. Lower wheat planted area follows the lowest level of winter wheat seedings in over a century as reviewed in AFBF’s January Crop Market Update. Finally, rice planted area is expected to decline by 600 million acres, -17.4%, to 2.6 million acres. The only major crops with expected increases in planted area are soybeans and cotton. Soybean acreage is expected to increase 4.6 million acres, +5.5%, to 88 million acres. All cotton (upland and ELS) planted area is expected to increase 14.2% to 11.5 million acres in 2017.

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