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• The current thinking seems to be that acreage will be shifted from corn to soybeans as the current large corn harvest will result in a substantial buildup of inventories and low corn prices in relation to soybean prices.
Additional acreage surveys conducted in July resulted in a 550,000-acre reduction in the estimate of soybean acreage and small adjustments in the estimates for cotton, dry edible beans, and sugar beets.
Small adjustments were also made for rice and peanuts in the AugustCrop Production report. The estimate of planted acreage in that report was 325.1 million, 1.3 million less than planted last year.
Good said that last month the Farm Service Agency FSA updated report of prevented acreage showed prevented planted acreage at 8.2 million in 2013.
“Adding that estimate to the NASS estimate of planted acreage yields a total of 333.3 million, 5.8 million larger than the total of a year ago. That total is unrealistically high, and as outlined two weeks ago, there has been an expectation that the NASS estimate of planted acreage, particularly for corn, would eventually be reduced.
“Such a reduction would have been expected in the OctoberCrop Production report scheduled for release on Oct. 11. The timing of the next report, however, is in limbo due to the partial shutdown of federal government activities,” he said.
Good explained that, whatever the final estimate for September 2013 turns out to be, total crop acreage should be larger in 2014 for at least two reasons.
“First, it’s unlikely that prevented acreage will be as large next year as it was this year,” Good said.
“A decline to a more normal level could boost crop acreage by 6.5 to 7.0 million acres. Second, contracts on 3.3 million Conservation Reserve Program acres expired at the end of September 2013.
“However, 1.7 million acres were enrolled in a new sign-up period in 2013 so that a net of about 1.6 million acres of former crop land are available for pasture or crops in 2014. Lower commodity prices in general could result in more idled acreage or more pasture in 2014, but the increase would likely be small,” he said.