2014 Acreage Estimates

University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Darrel Good says the market is already trying to anticipate planted corn and soybean acreage in 2014. Good says the effort is complicated by unfinished business with respect to 2013 acreage estimates. In the June 2013 Acreage Report – USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service estimated planted acreage of principal crops this year at 325.6-million acres. The estimate for soybean acreage was cut 550-thousand acres after additional acreage surveys conducted in July. There has been an expectation that NASS would reduce the estimate of planted acreage – particularly for corn – in the October Crop Production report. That report was scheduled for release this Friday – but the timing is in limbo because of the partial shutdown of the federal government. Regardless of the final estimate for September 2013 – Good expects total crop acreage should be larger in 2014. For one – he says it’s unlikely prevented acreage will be as large next year as it was this year. A decline to a more normal level could boost crop acreage by 6.5 to seven-million acres. Good adds that contracts on 3.3-million Conservation Reserve Program acres expired at the end of September. With 1.7-million enrolled in a new sign-up period in 2013 – a net of about 1.6-million acres of former crop land are available for pasture or crops in 2014. Good says current thinking is that acreage will be shifted from corn to soybeans in 2014 as the current large corn harvest will result in a substantial buildup of inventories and low corn prices in relation to soybean prices.

Looking Into the Crystal Ball