On March 29, the Agriculture Department released its much-anticipated Prospective Plantings report. The prospective plantings report gives the first estimate of the area farmers are expected to plant to row crops for the upcoming year based on survey responses during the first two weeks of March. The largest takeaway from the report is that for the first time since the payment-in-kind program of 1983, soybean acres planted will be greater than corn acres planted.
Pre-report survey estimates in advance of the prospective plantings report were for 87.6 to 91 million acres of corn, 89.9 to 92.6 million acres of soybeans, 43.9 to 47.2 million acres of wheat and 13 to 13.6 million acres of cotton. The average of the analysts’ estimates was 89.4 million acres of corn, 91.1 million acres of soybeans, 46.3 million acres of all wheat and 13.3 million acres of cotton.