The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a preview of its long-term planting projections Tuesday.
The USDA considers a lot of factors when making the projections, including macroeconomic conditions, GDP growth, and farm policy. An important projection from the early release is the overall number of planted acres. Total planted acres for the eight principal crops and land in the Conservation Reserve Program was 275.8 million acres. The forecast for 2018 calls for an increase in acres for all crops except upland cotton and wheat, with the total increase of 1.8 million acres.
From 2019-2027, USDA projects acreage to remain steady between 276 to 278 million acres, slightly lower than the 280 million acres over the last decade.
Another big takeaway from the report is that USDA predicts soybeans will overtake corn in planted acreage starting in 2019. Projected acres for both corn and soybeans are both at 91 million acres in 2018. In 2019, soybeans will stay at 91 million acres while corn is projected to drop to 90 million. If this forecast comes true, it would be the first-ever market-driven shift in which soybeans overtake corn in planted acreage in the U.S.
USDA says one of the biggest reasons behind the increase in soybean acres is demand for soy products from China
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting News Service.