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USDA sees only modest drop in acres

DANIEL LOOKER Updated: 02/20/2014 @ 11:10am Business Editor

With a soybean-to-corn futures ratio that favors beans, USDA expects a shift to larger soybean plantings in 2014. But that change will be part of larger crop acreage that won't decline much.

That's the early guess shared by Chief Economist Joe Glauber as the department's annual Outlook Forum began in Arlington, Virginia, Thursday.

Total acreage planted to corn, wheat, and soybeans is projected to be 227 million acres, a decline of 1.1 million acres, mostly reflecting a decline in soft red winter wheat seedings last fall.

Corn and soybean acreage is expected to total 171.5 million acres, about 400,000 less than in 2013. USDA projects corn acres falling 3.4 million acres from last year, to 92 million acres. Soybean acres are expected to increase by 3 million to 79.5 million acres.

A more accurate estimate, based on a producer survey, will be released March 31 in the Prospective Plantings report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service. And those farmer intentions can change, too, if spring weather isn't favorable.

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AM I mistaken or was the prospective planting repo 02/20/2014 @ 11:28am It probably is not a big deal, but I am just curious why this report was out on the web and in my brokers hands at 9:00 this morning? This was at least a couple hours before it was scheduled. I just hope when the big reports come out, that they are not pre-released to some who are close to the USDA. We all should be marketing on an even floor.

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DANIEL LOOKER Re: Re: AM I mistaken or was the prospective planting 02/21/2014 @ 10:07am I'm in the press room at the Outlook conference. Glauber's speech and slides were handed out yesterday shortly after 8 a.m. EST with instructions not to use until he began speaking at about 8:20 a.m. EST. The entire press corps got the handouts at the same time and appeared to honor that request to post nothing until 8:20. I chose not to write about plantings first, but others probably did. All of this is interesting stuff that's important for farmers to know. I'm not sure I'd be trading on these estimates, though. They're extremely early and not based on farmer surveys.

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