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U.S. Acreage Loss Less Than Expected

The U.S. corn and soybean farmers suffered less acreage loss than first thought, according to the Farm Service Agency Wednesday.

The USDA agency announced the September 3 prevented planting numbers, including failed acres, for farmers who participate in U.S. crop subsidy programs. Prevented planting for corn is listed at 2.352 million acres, up from 2.301 million a month ago. Soybeans are reported at 2.219 million acres, up from 2.173 million. Wheat is also up slightly, at 0.696 million acres, compared to 0.693 million last month.

Taking these new numbers into account, the total U.S. planted acres not including prevented planting acres are 81,937,044 for corn; 78,469,075 for soybeans; and 51,527,615 for wheat.

"If these are the numbers that are realized, they are negligible and nobody cares. There is no trust in the trade between FSA and USDA because in many years past the FSA tells us that there are prevent-plant acres, and USDA never takes their number into the balance sheet. If it’s not in the balance sheet, we don’t care," one analyst says.

Still, the market reaction has been negative today, since the prevented planting numbers are not as great as predicted.

“Numbers being called bearish,” says market analyst Jack Scoville of Price Futures Group. “There is not the abandonment that the market had expected. Took the stuffings out of the bean rally attempt and it is doing nothing to help corn and wheat prices at all.  Planted area is up, not down, and that says it all.”

Missouri has more prevented-planting acres for corn (514,428) and soybeans (1,048,947) than any other state. Illinois tops the list for wheat at 175,107 acres, with Arkansas coming in second at 93,586 acres.

Iowa has 115,411 prevented planting acres of corn and 76,808 of soybeans; Illinois has 87,468 corn and 230,944 soybeans; Indiana has 34,629 corn and 91,846 soybeans; Nebraska has 127,266 corn and 54,801 soybeans; and South Dakota has 122,367 corn and 66,161 soybeans.

Mississippi, Louisiana, Colorado, Texas, and Arkansas also had above-average numbers for corn.

Farmers who enroll in Farm Service Agency programs must submit a report to USDA regarding cropland use on their farms, and that information is used to help generate crop estimates for all farms, including those that do not participate in crop subsidy programs.

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