Corn has been the US’s staple food for a long while. It is a surprise that American farmers have planted more soybean than corn in two previous seasons, a possibility the country might witness in 2022 due to a rise in soybean prices and corn production costs.
It has been often said that American farmers are ardent planters of corn. The saying was proven in 2021 as projections of planted high soybean acres came short. The high prices of corn were not an opportunity many farmers were willing to let pass by, and the scenario might play this year.
Analysts point out that US farmers are planting more corn than soy, albeit the spread is close. A Reuters poll that looked into 14 analyses projected soybean acreage at 89.2 million and 91.8 corn acreage. In all 14 analyses, only two had a more significant corn acreage than soybeans.
If the analysis is anything to go by, the US will witness the second largest soy production after 2017. On the other hand, corn will go above 90.6 million acres, which was the five-year average. Given the estimates, there might be a combined 181 million acres of corn and soy.
1. Projections According to the US Department of Agriculture
The US Department of agriculture analysis is, to an extent, in line with the 14 projections scrutinized by Reuters. The USDA made a publication on its annual survey-based prospective findings. The report highlighted US soy production and other principal crops farmers intend to produce in 2022.
According to the report, farmers in America were expected to plant 91 million soybean acres, 89.5 million corn acres, 12.2 cotton acres, and 47.4 million wheat acres. The combined estimated acres of corn and soybean would match the 180.5 million acres record witnessed in 2021.
Back in February, at the 2022 Agricultural Outlook Forum, USDA projected farmers will plant 92 million acres of corn and 88 million acres of soybean. The projections from analysts were higher in the lead-up to the report. The high estimates were mostly on corn since its price remained high while there were troubles surrounding the inputs. The prior projections placed corn at 92 million acres while soybean came close at 88.7 acres.
2. An Overview of Soybean Forecast
The prospective planting survey by the US Department of Agriculture points out that farmers in the US intend to plant record soybeans acres. The USDA estimates a rise to 91 million acres of soybean planted for the 2022-2023 marketing year. The estimated figure is a 4.4% increment from 2021, which follows a 4.6% increment from 2020 to 2021.
As for the state with the highest acreage, Illinois is set to have the largest share at 11 million acres of soybeans. The acreage is set to increase by 3.8% from 2021 when 10.6 million acres were planted. Iowa comes in second with 10.4 million acres, a 3% increase from the 10.1 million acres planted in 2021. The list continues, with Minnesota coming in third with a 4.6% increase from 2021.
Texas is projected to have the highest increase in soybean planted. The state is expected to have a 45.5% jump from the 110,000 acres planted in 2021 to 160,000 acres in 2022. Georgia will come second in the percentage increase, while mephimmy Tennessee will be third.
3. An Overview of Corn Forecast
The US Department of Agriculture places corn production at 89.5 acres for the 22/23 marketing year. The projection is lower than what was witnessed in 2021 when 93.4 acres of corn were planted. Moreover, if the predictions come to pass, that will be the lowest amount of corn planted since 2018.
The highest corn acreage is expected in Iowa, standing at 12.6 million acres. The acreage will decline 2.3% from 2021, when the achieved acreage was 12.9 million. The decrease further worsens the 5% decline witnessed from 2020 to 2021 in the state.
The decline in corn acreage is a trend witnessed in many other states besides Iowa. Farmers are moving to other commodities for various reasons, including the high cost of fertilizer used in corn plantations. Also, there has been an increased cost of different outputs related to corn planting.
Illinois is the second state for projected corn at 10.7 million acres, a decline of 2.7% from 2021. Nebraska comes in third at 9.7 million acres, a 2% slump from 2021. On the other hand, Oklahoma is set to have the highest year-over-year change in the total corn acres planted, with an estimated 380,000 acres from 340,000 acres planted in 2021. Colorado follows with 1.45 million acres, an increase from 1.38 million acres. Finally, New Mexico gets third, with a 4.2% increase from 2021.
The 2022/23 marketing year is going to be faced with many marketing uncertainties. The volatilities notwithstanding, farmers in the US are stepping up and are willing to produce crops at almost record-breaking levels.
Soybean acreage is the highest on record, and other crops, such as wheat, are expected to experience continued growth over the years. Of all that, farmers have more pressure to deliver with improved yields and dismal weather avple disasters.