Market swings after release of Prospective Planting report

Elizabeth Varin
Farm Forum

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Prospective Planting report sparked some sizable market shifts last week.

It was issued March 29 and included a couple surprises, said Travis Antonsen, Agtegra Cooperative producer marketing manager.

Nationwide, spring wheat acres planted were estimated to be 115 percent of last year’s total, according to the report. Minnesota, North Dakota and Colorado saw the highest increases, according to the report.

The number of estimated soybean acres, on the other hand, dropped by more than 1 million nationwide. The report noted significant decreases in South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska.

“Soybeans shot up about 25 cents (per bushel) at 11 o’clock when the market saw what the numbers were,” Antonsen said. “Spring wheat was down 10 cents on the open.”

May 2018 soybean futures closed the day at $10.44 per bushel. May 2018 wheat futures closed the day at $4.51 per bushel.

The first look at what this year will bring was collected through surveying farmers. The ratio of corn acres to soybean acres was unexpected to some.

“That was probably our biggest surprise here,” Antonsen said. “They held South Dakota corn acres steady. With what we’re working with, talking to growers and hearing from the country, we were thinking that was going to be lower and soybeans were going to be higher.”

South Dakota farmers are expected to to plant 50,000 fewer acres of soybeans this year. Corn acres are expected to equal last year at 5.7 million acres.

However, those numbers could change as the planting season starts.

“I think that jury has yet to be decided,” Antonsen said. “I think we’ll have more bean acres than corn acres this year in South Dakota as well.”

Long-term, the market is looking at making sure there will be enough soybeans to satisfy demand.

“The market will now turn to weather and what the farmers actually plant,” Antonsen said. “The market was definitely taken off guard with the drop in soybean acres.”

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U.S. Department of Agriculture Prospective Plantings report estimates

Principal crops planted

17,557,000 acres in South Dakota (down 15,000 from 2017)

24,024,000 acres in North Dakota (up 337,000 from 2017)

19,549,000 acres in Minnesota (down 162,000 from 2017)

24,360,000 acres in Iowa (down 151,000 from 2017)

19,363,000 acres in Nebraska (down 323,000 from 2017)

317,989,000 acres in U.S. (down 1,158,000 from 2017)

Corn planted

5,700,000 acres in South Dakota (equal to 2017)

3,050,000 acres in North Dakota (down 370,000 from 2017)

7,500,000 acres in Minnesota (down 550,000 from 2017)

13,300,000 acres in Iowa (equal to 2017)

9,300,000 acres in Nebraska (down 250,000 from 2017)

88,026,000 acres in U.S. (down 2,141,000 from 2017)

Soybeans planted

5,600,000 acres in South Dakota (down 50,000 from 2017)

7,100,000 acres in North Dakota (equal to 2017)

7,900,000 acres in Minnesota (down 250,000 from 2017)

9,800,000 acres in Iowa (down 200,000 from 2017)

5,600,000 acres in Nebraska (down 100,000 from 2017)

88,982,000 acres in U.S. (down 1,160,000 from 2017)

Winter wheat planted

830,000 acres in South Dakota (down 80,000 from 2017)

90,000 acres in North Dakota (up 20,000 from 2017)

11,000 acres in Minnesota (up 1,000 from 2017)

20,000 acres in Iowa (up 4,000 from 2017)

1,070,000 acres in Nebraska (down 50,000 from 2017)

32,708,000 acres in U.S. (up 12,000 from 2017)

Spring wheat planted

1,050,000 acres in South Dakota (up 80,000 from 2017)

6,400,000 acres in North Dakota (up 1,050,000 from 2017)

1,600,000 acres in Minnesota (up 440,000 from 2017)

12,627,000 acres in U.S. (up 1,618,000 from 2017)