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October 20, 2020 | FBN Insights | Kevin McNew

2021 Acres Projected Higher

Planted area is expected to increase across the board as prevent plant and some set aside acres come back into production

U.S. Crop Conditions 

  • In the final conditions report of the season, the corn crop was rated 61% good to excellent, unchanged from last week and above 56% last year.
  • Corn harvest was slightly ahead of expected at 60% complete compared to the average of 43%. 
  • Soybean harvest was slower than expected at 75% complete, but still well ahead of the 58% average pace.
  • Winter wheat planting also remained ahead of pace at 77% complete versus the 72% average.
  • 51% of winter wheat has emerged compared to 48% on average, and USDA is expected to start reporting nationwide winter wheat conditions next week. 
  • Upland cotton crop conditions remained steady at 40% good to excellent despite recent storm activity in the Delta.

FBN’s Take On What It Means: Bean harvest is nearly complete and corn harvest is well ahead of average across much of the northern Plains and western Midwest. The eastern Corn Belt continues to lag behind average. A faster than average harvest may make it more difficult for commercials to originate grain once it’s in storage, but activity will likely slow after rain across the Ohio Valley and with moderate precip forecast for the northern Midwest. 

2021 Acres Projected Higher 

  • IHS Markit (Informa) forecast 2021 U.S. corn planted area at 92 million acres, up from 91 million this year.
  • The projection for next year’s soybean area of 89.2 million acres is up sharply from this year’s 83.1 million.
  • Total winter wheat area was forecast at 31.6 million acres up from 30.4 million.
  • Other spring wheat area was projected at 12.85 million acres compared to 12.25 million this year.
  • The forecast durum area was 1.8 million acres versus 1.68 million this year.

FBN’s Take On What It Means: Planted area is expected to increase across the board as prevent plant and some set aside acres come back into production. The price ratio of beans over corn for 2021 is currently 2.45:1 and may need to move more in favor of beans to encourage this much of a shift in planting intentions. 

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