USDA soybean forecast up, corn to hit record


By Glen Hallick, MarketsFarm

WINNIPEG, Feb. 21 (MarketsFarm) – With spring planting approaching, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its agricultural outlook on Feb. 21. The department predicted increased acres for soybeans and corn, but a slight decrease in wheat acres in 2020/21.

After dropping by approximately 14.7 per cent in 2019/20, planted soybean acres were forecast to increase by 11.7 per cent, to 85.0 million, in 2020/21. Should the USDA’s prediction hold, it would be the third largest amount of acres in the last eight years.

The USDA said it expects the U.S. share of the global soybean market to rebound after recent years of declines, despite greater production in South America. Also, the department believes domestic use will also increase, through soymeal and with more soyoil directed towards biofuel production.

For 2020/21, the USDA predicted harvested soybean acres at 84.2 million and with a yield of 49.80 bushels per acre (bu./ac.), production is expected to be a little short of 4.20 billion bushels. That’s yield increase of about 5.1 per cent and a 17.9 per cent jump in production. Meanwhile, ending stocks are expected to decline in 2020, from 425.0 million bushels to 320.0 million.

The ag outlook predicted a small increase in soymeal production, from 49.47 million short tons in 2019/20 to 50.23 million in 2020/21. As well, ending stocks are to rise from 375,000 short tons to 400,000.

Soyoil is to have a small increase as well, to 24.69 million pounds in 2020/21, which is up from the previous year’s 24.29 million. Ending stocks are to inch up, from 1.52 million to 1.55 million pounds.

The USDA forecast record corn production and domestic use in 2020/21, along with greater exports and ending stocks.

The ag outlook called for 94.0 million planted acres of corn this coming year, which would be up 4.8 per cent from 2019/20. Harvest acres were forecast at 86.6 million, up 6.30 per cent from 2019/20. The yield is to rise 6.25 per cent from last year to 178.5 bu./ac. in 2020/21 and that would see production increase by 12.91 per cent to 15.46 billion bushels. Ending stocks are forecast to jump from 1.89 billion bushels to 2.64 billion.

Planted wheat acres in the U.S. hit a 100-year low in 2019/20 at 45.2 million. With wet conditions in most of the Northern Plains to delay spring planting, plus forecasts for lower domestic use and continuing flat exports, the USDA projected planted acres to decrease slightly to 45.0 million in 2020/21. Harvest acres are expected to increase slightly from 37.2 million to 38.1 million.

However, USDA projected the wheat yield to decline from 51.7 bu./ac. in 2019/20 to 48.2 in 2020/21. That would result in production slipping from 1.92 billion bushels to 1.84 billion. Ending stocks are forecast to decrease from 940.0 million bushels to 777.0 million.

In the USDA’s calculations, the department assumed normal weather conditions in the spring and for crop development during the summer. The USDA is scheduled to issue the Prospective Plantings on March 31.

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