PROSPECTIVE PLANTINGS REPORT OUT MONDAY
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Farmers and other agricultural and commodity experts are anxiously awaiting the release of the Agriculture Department's annual prospective plantings report on Monday, March 31.
"It is anticipated this report will show that farmers intend to reduce their 2008 corn plantings anywhere from 4 million to 7 million acres of corn," American Farm Bureau Federation Senior Economist Terry Francl said. "Likewise, they are likely to plant an additional 6 million to 9 million acres of soybeans. Spring wheat and durum wheat planted acres are expected to be up about 1 million acres, while cotton plantings are expected to drop another 1.5 million acres."
Francl said another government report, the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, which is expected April 9, is also eagerly anticipated.
"While these reports will affect the market, it is still a long time between now and harvest," Francl said, "and as conditions change, farmers will respond accordingly. For example, the price ratio between corn and soybeans around March 1, when the Planting Intentions Survey was conducted, was more favorable to soybeans than it is today.
"The net revenue ratio of corn to soybeans has been running some $150 per acre to $175 per acre in favor of corn in recent weeks," Francl said. "This would seem to favor higher corn plantings than indicated in earlier private surveys. There also are indications that many farmers remain undecided about their final ratio of corn to beans. Their decisions may ultimately be contingent on spring planting weather."