USDA ‘Sent a Shot Across the Bow’ to the Corn Market During Ag Outlook Forum

USDA held their annual Agricultural Outlook Forum on Thursday and Friday this past week, providing their initial forecast for the ag economy, commodity markets, and trade in 2023. They also provided acreage estimates for this year.

“USDA really sent a shot across the bow on the corn market for ’23-’24 on several fronts,” says Brian Basting, market research analyst with Advance Trading. USDA bumped their corn acreage estimate up to 91 million acres.

“I’d remind your listeners that we planted 88.6 million acres in 2022, so nearly two and a half million acres there. And a real big, big note there was that they put in a record yield. Now, this is just a number on the wall. Anything can happen between now and the time the combines roll in October, but a 181.5 national average yield. For perspective, last year, it was 173.3.”

Wheat acres across the country are expected to climb to 49.5 million acres, up nearly 3.8 million acres. Soybean acres remained flat from 2022 at 87.5 million acres. Basting is skeptical about that soybean number.

“I don’t know if that’s going to happen or not. With all the extra wheat acres we planted last fall, I would think that if the soybean market holds together in the summer here, and the wheat harvest comes off in a timely fashion, we may see more double crop soybeans planted than maybe the market has factored in.”

If that happens, it would ultimately lead to a rise in acreage for all three- corn, soybeans, and wheat. Where’s that acreage coming from? Well, USDA Chief Economist Seth Meyer says we ended up with higher than normal prevented-plant acres out west in 2022.

Hear much more from Basting on the Ag Outlook Forum in the Michigan Ag Today interview with Andy Eubank below.