Wheat acres at record lows, increase for soybeans, corn: USDA

WINNIPEG, March 31 (MarketsFarm) – As with last year, total wheat acres in the United States are projected to remain at all-time lows, according to the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA). The department issued its prospective plantings estimates on Tuesday.

MarketsFarm Director of Markets and Weather Bruce Burnett called the USDA’s wheat and soybean estimates positive, while he said its corn forecast was bearish.

The USDA called for wheat acres to slip one per cent in 2020 to 44.66 million, for the lowest amount since 1919. Of that, 12.59 million acres are projected to be spring wheat, which is pretty much on par with what the markets expected. Of the total spring wheat acres, about 11.9 million is predicted to be hard red spring.

Durum acres are pegged to come in at 1.29 million acres, which would be down four per cent from last year. MarketsFarm forecast U.S. durum acres at 1.50 million.

Winter wheat acres are expected to be 30.78 million this year, according to the USDA. That would be a one-point drop from 2019. Of that, 21.7 million acres are forecast to be hard red winter, 5.7 million of soft red winter, and 3.4 million of white winter.

Soybean acres are to rise 10 per cent this year to 83.51 million, the USDA said. That would be slightly lower than the average trade guess of 84.9 million.

Corn acres were predicted to reach 96.99 million, up eight per cent, the USDA reported. That’s higher than market expectations of 94.3 million.

Canola acres in the U.S. are estimated to be a little lower in 2020 compared to 2019. The USDA set its prediction at just under 2.0 million.

The bulk of U.S. canola is grown in North Dakota, with almost 1.66 million acres forecast to be planted this year. That’s down from 1.70 million in 2019.

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