Corn, wheat planted area up but soybeans down 5%: USDA

30 Jun 2023 | Eoin Hughes

US prospective plantings for corn and wheat were up year on year, but soybean estimated planted area fell, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)'s annual Prospective Plantings data released Friday.

Corn planted area for all purposes in 2023 is estimated at 94.1 million acres, up 6% or 5.52 million acres from last year's 88.56 million acres.

Trade estimates before the report ranged from 91-93 million acres, while the USDA 2023 Outlook Forum had placed projections at 91.99 million acres.

This was the third biggest planted area of corn since 1944, according to the USDA.

Soybean estimated planted area is 83.5 million acres, down 5% from last year's 87.45 million acres.

But this was still the fifth largest planted area on record, the report said.

Market estimates ranged from 87-88.5 million acres, with the bulk around 87.7 million acres, while the USDA projection from March’s outlook was lower at 87.5 million acres.

All wheat planted area for 2023 is estimated at 49.6 million acres, up 9% from 2022.

The average estimate of analysts for the total wheat area was 49.66 million acres, which came in below the USDA’s outlook estimate of 49.85 million acres.

Wheat has continued to have the biggest projected percentage increase among the three main crops due to continued high global prices and tight global supplies, partially due to the ongoing war in Ukraine and drought concerns around the globe.

Winter wheat planting area is forecast up 11% from last year at 37 million acres.

Of this total, about 25.7 million acres were estimated to be hard red winter, 7.66 million acres were soft red winter, and 3.68 million acres were white winter.

The USDA said that producers expect to harvest 70% of this planted acreage.

“If realized, this harvest ratio would be the lowest since 1933,” they said.

“Dry conditions in Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma are factoring into the increased abandonment.”

The area expected to be planted with spring wheat is 11.1 million acres, down 19% from 2022.

Of this total, about 10.5 million acres were hard red spring wheat.

Durum projected planted area is 1.78 million acres, up 9% from the previous year.