The USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service released their 2015 Planting Intentions Report this week. There is always room for debate about reliability, and this report certainly has the web buzzing. I don’t have much to add beyond what is in print, but wanted to share the highlights as they might relate to our markets. You can find the 2015 Prospective Plantings Report HERE.
One of the main questions people usually ask is, “Where does this information come from?” That one is pretty simple:
“The acreage estimates in this report are based primarily on surveys conducted during the first two weeks of March. The March Agricultural Survey is a probability survey that includes a sample of over 84,000 farm operators selected from a list of producers that ensures all operations in the United States have a chance to be selected. These operators were contacted by mail, internet, telephone, or personal interview to obtain information on crop acreage planned for the 2015 crop year.”
Here are a few summary comments to consider as you plant and market your crops:
Corn: Growers intend to plant 89.2 million acres of corn for all purposes in 2015, down 2 percent from last year and down 6 percent from 2013. If realized, this will be the lowest planted acreage in the United States since 2010. The reduction in planted acres is mainly due to the expectation of lower prices and returns in 2015.
Soybean: Growers intend to plant a record high 84.6 million acres in 2015, up 1 percent from last year. Compared with last year, planted acreage intentions are up or unchanged in 21 of the 31 major producing States. Increases of 200,000 acres or more are anticipated in Arkansas, Iowa, and Ohio. Compared with last year, the largest declines are expected in Kansas and Nebraska. If realized, the planted area in Kentucky, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Wisconsin will be the largest on record.
Cotton: Growers intend to plant 9.55 million acres in 2015, down 13 percent from last year. If realized, this will be the lowest planted acreage in the United States since 2009. Upland area is expected to total 9.40 million acres, down 13 percent from 2014, and the lowest estimated United States upland acreage since 2009.
Peanuts: Growers intend to plant 1.48 million acres in 2015, up 9 percent from the previous year. The expected increase in planted area is mainly due to relatively low prices of other crops, especially cotton. In Georgia, the largest peanut-producing State, planted area is expected to be up 20 percent from 2014. If realized, planted acres in South Carolina will be a record high.
Tobacco: United States all tobacco area for harvest in 2015 is expected to be 345,280 acres, down 9 percent from 2014. Flue-cured tobacco, at 220,000 acres, is 10 percent below 2014 and accounts for 64 percent of this year’s total tobacco acreage. Total light air-cured tobacco type area, at 95,900 acres, is 7 percent below 2014. Burley tobacco, at 93,700 acres, is 8 percent below last year.