Grain marketers still watching harvest acres
URBANA, Ill. (University of Illinois) – Surveys conducted by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service in June revealed that producers had planted or intended to plant 85.1 million acres of soybeans in 2015.
The extremely wet weather in June resulted in a July re-survey of those producers in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Texas who had indicated in the June survey that they had intended acres that were not yet planted.
That re-survey resulted in an 800,000 acre reduction in the estimate of planted acreage of soybeans, to a total of 84.3 million acres.
According to University of Illinois agricultural economist Darrel Good, questions about the magnitude of planted acreage of soybeans persist.
“In particular, extremely wet weather in June in parts of the eastern Corn Belt raised questions about whether all the intended acres in that area were actually planted,” Good said.
NASS will update the estimate of planted acreage of soybeans in the Oct. 9 Crop Production report.
That estimate will incorporate administrative data, primarily from the USDA’s Farm Service Agency.
Producers participating in federal farm programs are required to report planted acreage to FSA.
FSA releases monthly summaries of the producer reports that have been received and processed to date beginning in August.
Good said those reports contain clues about how NASS may change its acreage estimate in October.
While NASS will have access to the FSA data for the Oct. 9 Crop Production report, FSA is not scheduled to post that report on its website until Oct. 14.
“Anticipating the NASS October estimate of planted acres of soybeans based on FSA acreage data is a two-step process,” Good said. “First, the pattern of changes in FSA monthly planted acreage data is examined to anticipate the magnitude of planted acreage that might be reported in October this year.
“Second, the relationship between the FSA and NASS October acreage estimates is examined in order to anticipate the likely NASS October acreage estimate this year.
“This process is illustrated using the experience of the past three years.”
In 2012, a year of very early planting, Good said the FSA report of planted acreage of soybeans increased by 0.8 million acres from August to September and by only 0.096 million acres from September to October, for a total increase of only 0.896 million acres.
The increases in 2013, a year of very late planting, were 2.6 million in September and 0.6 million in October, for a total increase of 3.2 million acres.
In 2014, a year of moderately late planting, the increases were 1.6 million in September and 0.2 million in October, for a total increase of 1.8 million acres.
Expectations for the final NASS estimate of planted acreage, to be released in January 2016, can be updated following the release of the October FSA acreage report and the NASS October acreage estimate.
The final NASS estimate of planted acreage in the previous three years ranged from 0.5 million less than the October estimate to 0.3 million more than the October estimate.
That final estimate represented 101.8 to 103.0 percent of the October FSA acreage report.
“The change in the NASS soybean acreage estimate,” Good said, “if any, next month would have to be near the extreme of a decline of 1.6 million acres suggested by recent history to substantially alter the 2015-16 supply and consumption balance sheet.
“With a national average yield near 47 bushels, a 1.6 million acre decline represents 75 million bushels, assuming the difference between planted and harvested acreage remains near the current estimate of only about 0.8 million acres.
“With all other World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report balance sheet projections unchanged, a decline of that magnitude would point to year-ending stocks of 375 million bushels, rather than the 450 million bushels currently projected.
“Based on the nature of the 2015 planting season, we judge that the NASS October acreage estimate could be small enough to lower the projection of 2015-16 marketing year-ending stocks to less than 400 million bushels.
“Stocks at that level would be expected to support prices at current levels. On the other hand, higher prices will likely require some combination of a lower yield forecast or improved export demand.”
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