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USDA Prospective Plantings Report(2015)

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On 31 March, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the much-anticipated Prospective Plantings report. This report showed corn planted area to fall by 2 percent to 89.2 million acres. If realized, this will be the third consecutive year of an acreage decline and would be the lowest planted acreage in the United States since 2010. 

Despite the cut in prospective planted corn acreage, this figure is still roughly 500,000 acres more than anticipated by analysts polled by Reuters. On average, these analysts expected farmers to plant 88.7 million acres in 2015.

Most of the Corn Belt is expected to see substantial declines in planted corn acres this year.
Kansas and Nebraska are not expected to see any change from last year, and Minnesota and Wisconsin are both anticipating increases in corn plantings by 300,000 acres and 100,000 acres respectively.

Soybean planted area for 2015 is estimated at a record high 84.6 million acres, up 1 percent from last year. Compared with last year, planted acreage intentions are up or unchanged in 21 of the 31 major producing States.

All wheat planted area for 2015 is estimated at 55.4 million acres, down 3 percent from 2014. The 2015 winter wheat planted area, at 40.8 million acres, is down 4 percent from last year but up less than 1 percent from the previous estimate. Of this total, about 29.6 million acres are Hard Red Winter, 7.75 million acres are Soft Red Winter, and 3.43 million acres are White Winter. Area planted to other spring wheat for 2015 is estimated at 13.0 million acres, down slightly from 2014. Of this total, about 12.1 million acres are Hard Red Spring wheat. The intended Durum planted area for 2015 is estimated at 1.65 million acres, up 18 percent from the previous year. 

All cotton planted area for 2015 is estimated at 9.55 million acres, 13 percent below last year. Upland area is estimated at 9.40 million acres, down 13 percent from 2014. American Pima area is estimated at 150,000 acres, down 22 percent from 2014. The USDA noted that if these acres of planted corn are realized, “this will be the third consecutive year of an acreage decline.”