Farmland flooding is taking its toll on the outlook for corn acreage, but record production is still anticipated.
The latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates from USDA out today lowered corn planted area for 2011/12 by 1.5 million acres from March intentions to 90.7 million acres.
“Planting delays through early June in the eastern Corn Belt and northern Plains are expected to reduce planted area, more than offsetting likely gains in the western Corn Belt and central Plains where planting was ahead of normal by mid-May. Harvested area is lowered 1.9 million acres, to 83.2 million with the additional 400,000-acre reduction reflecting early information about May flooding in the lower Ohio and Mississippi River valleys and June flooding along the Missouri River valley.”
The decrease in acreage revised the expected production down 305 million bushels to 13.2 billion, but that would still be 753 million more than last year and a new record, based on a yield of 158.7 bu/acre.
Renewable Fuels Association Vice President of Research and Analysis Geoff Cooper notes that it is still too early to tell for sure how many acres may have been lost to flooding or abandoned due to prevented planting. “The June 30 Acreage Report will provide a much better picture of actual corn acreage,” Cooper said, also pointing out that the projected yield is likely to change as well. “It is extremely early in the season and much will change between now and harvest. Historical data has shown that the weather in July and August is a much more important factor in determining final yields than the planting date.”
Ethanol demand was unchanged in the report at 5.05 billion bushels. Ending stocks for the 2011 crop were reduced from 900 million to 695 million bushels, leading to a 50-cent increase in the projected average farm price for corn.