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95.9 million corn acres in 2012 -- USDA

Jeff Caldwell 03/30/2012 @ 7:36am Multimedia Editor for Agriculture.com and Successful Farming magazine.

U.S. farmers are going to plant a lot more corn this year, USDA said Friday morning, and that's got the corn trade in a bearish state of mind ahead of Friday's opening bell.

In its annual Prospective Plantings report, USDA shows corn plantings at 95.9 million acres, up 4 million from 2011. "If realized, this will represent the highest planted acreage in the United States since 1937 when an estimated 97.2 million acres were planted," according to the report.

Soybeans acreage, on the other hand, is down 1% from a year ago at 73.9 million. "Compared with 2011, planted area is down or unchanged across the Corn Belt and Great Plains with the exceptions of Illinois, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin," according to USDA. All wheat planted area is seen up 3% at 55.9 million acres. 

Based on these numbers, traders expect a sharply higher soybean market Friday, with early calls 50 cents higher. Corn's seen trading 10-20 higher on lower stocks numbers and wheat's expected to start the day 15-20 higher, traders say.

In Friday's quarterly grain stocks report, USDA says corn stocks are 8% lower than they were a year ago at just over 6 billion bushels. Of that, 3.19 billion bushels are stored on farms, down 6% from last year.

Soybean stocks are 10% higher than a year ago at 1.37 billion bushels, with 555 million of those bushels stored on farms. All wheat stocks are down 16% from a year ago at 1.20 billion bushels.


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