Despite the ravaging floods in the Midwest and cool temperatures in March and April, the US corn planted acreage of 87.3 million acres is the second highest since 1946, behind last year’s total of 93.6 million acres, according to the 30 June acreage report issued by the US Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Growers expect to harvest 78.9 million acres for grain, down 9% from 2007. If realized, this would be the second highest since 1944, behind last year.
The heavy rains and resulting floods during June caused producers in several Midwestern States to change their harvesting intentions for crops already planted, modify planting decisions for the small percentage of acres not yet planted, and consider replanting options.
NASS re-interviewed approximately 1,200 farmers on 23, 24, and 25 June in the flood-affected areas to more accurately reflect the impact. As a result, it was determined that US farmers intend to harvest 90.4% of their planted acres of corn for grain. This is a change from 92.4% as measured during the first 2 weeks of June.
Corn planted area for all purposes is estimated at 87.3 million acres, down 7% from last year, but still the second highest since 1946.
Farmers increased corn plantings 1.31 million acres from their March intentions. Planting got off to a slow start across the Corn Belt, Ohio Valley, and the northern half of the Great Plains as frequent precipitation and cool temperatures during March and April prevented spring planting preparations. Corn planting was 27 percent complete on May 4, down 32 points from normal. Despite intermittent showers and below normal temperatures, producers were able to make rapid progress during May, particularly across the upper Midwest and northern Great Plains. Farmers reported that 97 percent of the intended corn acreage had been planted at the time of the survey interview compared with the average of 98 percent for the past 10 years.
USDA’s first estimate of production and yield based on actual crop estimates will be released 12 August. Assuming the earlier estimated yield of 148.9 bushels per acre, total 2008 corn supply (production and carry-in) would be 13.2 billion bushels, meeting all currently estimated uses and providing a carry-out that is more than 5% of supply, noted the National Corn Growers Association.
Further, USDA reported that corn stocks in all positions on 1 June 2008 totaled 4.03 billion bushels, up 14% from June 1, 2007. Of the total stocks, 1.97 billion bushels are stored on farms, up 8% from a year earlier. Off-farm stocks, at 2.06 billion bushels, are up 21% from a year ago.