High rice prices will encourage some expansion. Rice area for 2014 is projected at 2.9 million acres, up 400,000 acres from 2013. Most all of the expansion is expected to occur in the Delta States where producers will expand long grain plantings, as well as plantings of middle- and short-grain varieties to offset potential acreage losses in California due to the drought there.
Cotton prices are expected to fall less than competing crops. That will make planting cotton relatively more attractive. Cotton area is projected at 11.5 million acres, up 1.1 million acres.
Larger supplies to pressure prices. USDA projects prices for most row crops to fall to the lowest levels since 2009-10. A return to normal yields for spring-planted crops could see soybeans and corn set new production records. Larger corn, soybean, rice and cotton crops will result in significant stock building and lower crop prices.
Glauber expects most crop prices to fall to the lowest levels since 2009-10. Wheat prices are estimated at $5.30 per bushel, a decline of 22% from last year. Corn prices are projected to fall to $3.90 per bushel, a decline of 60 cents per bushel and the lowest season average price for corn since 2009-10. Soybeans prices are forecast at $9.65, per bushel, also the lowest season average price since 2009-10. Rice prices are forecast at $15.90 per hundredweight for 2014-15, basically unchanged from 2013-14. Cotton prices are projected at 68 cents per pound, a decline of 8 cents per pound from 201314 and the lowest level since 2009-10.
"Continued tight ending stocks will keep markets sensitive to supply shocks both in the United States and abroad," concludes Glauber.