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USDA report shows little change in crop estimates

Mar. 31, 2010 –The USDA released its March Acreage Intentions and Stocks Reports today, with changes to the number of corn acres estimated within the trade down by a tenth of a percent. Soybeans also dropped in the department’s estimation, down half a percent. Estimates for all wheat, including winter wheat production, increased by half a percent.  


March 31, 2010
By Top Crop Manager

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Mar. 31, 2010 –Estimates released by the US Department of Agriculture have made almost insignificant adjustments in Down Jones estimates for both acreage and production in corn, soybeans and wheat. The report, released earlier today, dropped corn acreage estimates from the industry from 88.9 million acres to 88.8 million, a drop of a tenth of a percent. Soybeans fell by half a percent, from 78.6 million acres according to the Dow Jones survey, to 78.1 million. And all wheat, including winter, spring and durum, gained half a percent overall, with winter wheat gaining 400,000 acres over and above the Dow Jones report.


As for grain stocks, March 1 estimates had corn at 7.505 billion bushels, with this USDA report adjusting it to 7.694 billion bushels. Soybeans also jumped in the USDA report, from 1.207 billion bushels in the Dow Jones estimate to 1.270 billion bushels. Wheat’s stocks actually dropped, from 1.364 in the March 1 survey to 1.352 on the USDA report.


In a separate analysis of the situation, the US Renewable Fuels Association is greeting the USDA numbers as welcome news that the ethanol trade is not in danger of a short supply of corn. In a Wednesday morning report from Matt Hartwig, director of public affairs with the RFA concedes that while the markets may not react, there are some newsworthy points from the USDA report. "Acreage for all major crops hasn’t increased," he notes in his e-mail. "Incremental needs for ethanol are being met through crop switching and not land-use change."


He goes on to state that the 4.6 billion bushels corn currently stored on farms in the US is 400,000 bushels more than the amount of corn expected to be used in ethanol processing for 2009/10.