On Tuesday, November 28, 2017 the Agriculture Department released several tables previewing the annual long-term Agricultural Projections to 2027 (the complete projections will be released in February). These early-release tables provide USDA estimates on the supply and demand for agricultural commodities through 2017 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.

While in aggregate USDA projects acreage to increase slightly in 2018, the biggest takeaway is that USDA projects soybean acreage to top corn acreage beginning in 2019 and continuing through 2027. 2018 soybean plantings are projected at 91 million acres, up 793,000 acres from 2017 or approximately 1 percent. Corn acres in 2018 are also projected at 91 million acres, up 571,000 acres or approximately 1 percent. By 2019 however, soybean acres are projected at 91 million acres while corn acres are projected at 90 million acres. If realized, this would be the first market-driven acreage shift that resulted in more soybean acres planted than corn.

Market Intel update