Farm Futures Sees Acreage Increases For Corn, Soybeans and Wheat

High prices should lure more land into production of major crops, Farm Futures survey shows.

Published on: Aug 30, 2011

A tough growing season in 2011 won't dim the hopes of U.S. farmers, who plan to increase production of major crops in the coming year, according to Farm Futures magazine's first survey of 2012 planting intentions.

Lured by high prices and good profit potential, producers said they expect to plant record corn acres, along with strong increases for soybeans and wheat.

Farm Futures estimates corn acreage could hit 93.87 million in 2012, up 1.7% from this year's total. If achieved, that would top the post-World War II record of 93.6 million set in 2007. And with corn prices still rising, the total could top 94 million or more, said Farm Futures Senior Editor Bryce Knorr, who conducted the on-line survey. Results were released this morning at the opening day of the 2011 Farm Progress Show, the nation's largest outdoor farm show, held near Decatur, Ill., Aug. 30, 31 and Sept. 1.

"Rising prices and profits convinced farmers to increase corn plantings in 2011, and the same should hold true in 2012," Knorr said. "Farmers are truly planting for the market these days. However, that means these intentions could change by spring if the current bull market runs out of steam."

Farm Futures pegged 2012 soybean acreage at 76.9 million, a 2.3% increase. Farmers are gearing up to seed 42.4 million winter wheat acres this fall, up 3.1%, with total wheat plantings of 58.63 million up 3.9%.

Knorr noted that weather will play a big role in determining final wheat acreage. A late fall harvest in 2009 reduced seedings of soft red winter wheat dramatically, while 2011 spring wheat and durum acreage suffered from historic flooding on the northern Plains. This year's concerns include severe drought on the southern Plains, notes Farm Futures Market Analyst Arlan Suderman, who says tight supplies mean every acre will count.

"Farmers are telling us that we are beginning to stretch the available acres that they are willing to commit to corn production without a more significant price incentive," Suderman says. "That means that substantial gains in production are going to have to come either from yield or from overseas production, leaving us even more susceptible to weather risks.

 "The data suggests that it's going to take a couple of years with good crops to rebuild domestic and global stocks, unless 2012 brings an unusually favorable summer to maximize yields and/or we see a significant slowdown in the Asian economy.

 "The soybean and wheat numbers suggest that the market continues to provide an incentive for farmers in the southern belt to double-crop the two crops whenever the weather allows them to maximize their returns. This leaves both susceptible to weather when conditions are not conducive for getting one crop harvested and the other planted."

Farm Futures surveyed almost 1,000 growers in late July and August to gather data on yields, acreage and management practices.

Survey results by crop:

Crop

Acreage

Change

Corn

93.87 million

1.7%

Soybeans

76.9 million

2.3%

Soft Red Winter Wheat

8.4 million

1.7%

Hard Red Winter Wheat

30.3 million

4.0%

White Winter Wheat

3.7 million

-0.6%

All Winter Wheat

42.4 million

3.1%

Spring Wheat

14.2 million

4.2%

Durum

2.1 million

21.4%

All Wheat

58.63 million

3.9%


About Farm Futures Magazine 

Published nine times annually, plus extra bonus editions in mid-February and December, by Farm Progress Companies, Farm Futures [www.FarmFutures.com] provides business and management information to large-scale, high-income U.S. farm operators. The publication leads its market segment in producer preference. Get the Farm Futures app for your mobile devices by searching for "Farm Futures" in the Android Market or iTunes/Apple App store.

Farm Futures' latest brand expansion includes the dynamic Farm Futures Market Center, a comprehensive online, real-time commodity quote and charting platform with extensive news and exclusive analysis.