USDA corn, wheat planting projections down from 2023; soybeans advance

28 Mar 2024 | Mark Shenk

US prospective plantings for corn and wheat are down year-on-year, while soybeans are expected to buck the trend and climb year on year, according to the annual Prospective Plantings data published by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Thursday March 28.

Corn's planted area for all purposes in 2024 is estimated at 90 million acres, down by 4.61 million acres, or 5%, from last year's 94.64 million acres.

Trade estimates before the report ranged from 90.00 million acres to 93.47 million acres, while the USDA 2024 Commodity Outlook Forum on February 15 projected 91.00 million acres.

Soybean's estimated planted area is 86.51 million acres, up 2.90 million acres, or 3.4%, from last year's 83.60 million acres.

Market estimates ranged from 85.35 million acres to 88.00 million acres, while the USDA's February projection was 87.50 million acres.

The total wheat planted area for 2023 is estimated at 47.50 million acres, down by 2.08 million acres, or 4.2%, from 2023's 49.58 million acres.

The analyst's average estimate for the total wheat area ranged from 46.2 million acres to 49.98 million acres, while the USDA’s February outlook estimate was 47 million acres.

Winter wheat planting area is forecast to total 34.14 million acres, down by 2.56 million acres, or 7%, from 36.70 million acres in 2023.

Of the winter wheat total, about 24.30 million acres are estimated to be hard-red winter, 6.26 million acres are soft-red winter, and 3.59 million acres white winter.

The area expected to be planted with spring wheat is 11.30 million acres, up 1% from 2023, with 10.70 million acres of that hard-red spring wheat.

The projected planted area for durum is 2.03 million acres, up by 350,000 acres, or 21%, from 1.68 million acres the previous year.