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Poll: Most farmers stay with original planting intentions, few switches.

Agriculture.com Staff 05/10/2006 @ 8:41am

A majority of farmers responding to an Agriculture Online poll said they didn't make any last-minute planting changes this year. Analysts are mixed on results.

Traditionally, when weather is favorable such as this year's has been, farmers tend to plant more corn than the USDA's March Planting Intentions report stated.

In addition, just before the planting season, a boost in the corn market prices led some analysts to believe more acres would be planted in corn.

Recently Agriculture Online asked, "Did you make any last minute cropping changes? Of the 308 respondents, 62% said they didn't make any changes, while 26% added corn, 11% added soybeans, and 1% chose 'other ."

In March, USDA estimated 2006 corn acres at 78.019 million compared to 81.75 million in 2005.

For soybeans, USDA estimated 2006 acres at 76.895 million, higher than 72.142 million last year.

Shawn McCambridge, Prudential Securities Financial, said that the poll results are reflective of what farmers actually planted.

"This year, I think the USDA corn planted acreage number is a little understated. But, I don't see a significant change. I see a modest increase of 500,000 to 1.0 million acres added to the USDA number not 2-3 million by any stretch."

McCambridge sees extremely higher nitrogen fertilizer costs slowing the growers' decisions to switch to corn.

Jason Ward, North Star Commodity Investment Company, said he is surprised the poll showed so few adding corn.

"I'm very shocked," Ward said. "If we didn't add very much, like the poll reflects, that would be a friendly number to the market," Ward said. "I would of thought with the corn futures prices hitting $2.90 bushels per acre, and beans at planting time at a low number of $5.80-$5.90 ballpark, that the market would have attracted more corn acres."

Ward said outside of southwest Iowa and northwest Missouri, nearly 80% of his other customers in the Corn Belt that he works with added corn acres.

A majority of farmers responding to an Agriculture Online poll said they didn't make any last-minute planting changes this year. Analysts are mixed on results.

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