Corn acres may fall 5 million short

In the last eight months, corn prices have doubled while U.S. corn stocks dropped, stated a recent Wallaces Farmer article. Even with prices as high as they are today, it still looks as though 2011 corn acres are going to fall short of demand.

USDA will release its Planting Intentions report this Thursday, and farmers and grain traders alike are eagerly awaiting the numbers. In February, USDA economists said they anticipated close to 92 million acres to be planted to corn nationwide this spring, but even those 92 million acres (up from 88 million last year), wouldn’t be enough to satisfy demand.  Grain market analysts say this number falls five million acres short of what’s needed to help rebuild tight U.S. corn stocks.

The Dakota-Minnesota region which accounted for 16 percent of U.S. corn acres last year is being looked upon intently in this scenario. “If corn planting is delayed in that region, that will tend to push more acres into beans,” says Bob Wisner, retired Iowa State University Extension grain marketing economist.

As if there weren’t enough coals in the fire, ISU Extension climatologist Elwynn Taylor is projecting a 2011 drought based on a continuing strong La Nina. If this prediction comes true, the 2011 average U.S. corn yield could fall well short of the trendline. Taylor’s worst case scenario is a 148 bu/acre corn yield average in 2011, the article stated.

What are your thoughts on the current corn acre projections? Will you be planting any acres to corn this year?

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