February 27, 2023


US farmers to plant more corn and wheat this year


The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said US farmers will plant more corn and wheat this year compared to last year, benefitting from increased grain prices and reduced fertiliser costs, Successful Farming reported.

The USDA at its annual Agricultural Outlook Forum said US corn seedings were pegged at 91.0 million acres, up from 88.6 million in 2022, and soybean seedings were estimated at 87.5 million acres, unchanged from last year. Wheat plantings are projected to reach a seven-year high of 49.5 million acres, up from 45.7 million in 2022.


Following Russia's invasion of major grain producer Ukraine, the world's grain supplies are at low levels not seen in a decade. A large US crop is required to replenish stockpiles, whose depleted levels have contributed to food inflation over the past two years.


While the government's forecast for soybean acreage fell short of the average analyst estimate of 88.6 million acres, the USDA's estimate for corn seedings was slightly higher than the average analyst expectation for 90.9 million acres. The USDA said its acreage projections used normal weather conditions.


Rich Feltes, director of market insights for broker R.J. O'Brien, said the US is going to need an open, favourable spring to reach this acreage target.


After last year's harvest was destroyed by a late-season drought, YS farmers are taking advantage of lower prices for the fertiliser they need to grow corn and are hoping for a bumper crop.


The USDA forecast lower average prices for corn, soybeans, and wheat compared to the previous year, reflecting expectations for increased production and ending stocks, even though these prices were high by historical standards.

Feltes said US farmers should become more assertive in marketing crops for 2022 as well as increasing sales for 2023.


The USDA estimated a total US corn crop in 2023 of 15.085 billion bushels based on a record-high yield of 181.5 bushels per acre (bpa). For soybeans, they projected a crop of 4.510 billion bushels with a record yield of 52.0 bpa. Total US wheat output was estimated at .887 billion bushels with an average yield of 49.2 bpa, up 6% from last year's drought-affected average of 46.5 bpa.

The USDA said drought persists in portions of the southern Plains winter wheat belt.


On March 31, the USDA is expected to release its annual report on planting intentions in the United States, which is based on a survey of about 70,000 farmers.


-      Successful Farming

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