U.S. corn acreage rising to 99.3 mln, Informa says
Informa, a closely watched crop forecaster, pegged corn plantings at 99.303 million acres, up from its December estimate of 99.03 million acres, traders said. The firm projected soybean plantings at 78.777 million acres, down from its December forecast of 78.96 million.
Informa lowered its winter wheat plantings estimate to 41.820 million acres from 42.198 million, traders said. The USDA last week pegged winter wheat plantings at 41.8 million acres. The crop was planted last autumn and will be harvested in early summer.
Informa projected spring wheat plantings at 12.484 million acres, and durum plantings were seen at 1.940 million, they said. Durum and spring wheat will be planted in the spring and harvested in the fall.
Informa estimates all wheat acreage at 56.2 million, which would be 508,000 above last year.
The report was considered bearish for the corn market. High crop prices are considered likely to compel farmers to plant as many acres as possible for the second straight year in 2013, with the economics of current prices making corn planting more profitable than soybeans.
U.S. farmers planted 97.2 million acres of corn and 77.2 million acres of soybeans in 2012, along with 41.3 million acres of winter wheat last season, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The corn acreage was the highest since 1937.
The firm said, the western Corn Belt is expected to increase corn area 1.4 million acres from the previous year while corn acres in the eastern Corn Belt are projected to increase by only 50,000.