US farmers are getting ready to plant record amounts of
soybeans, analysts agree, but unless the crop also sees unusually good
conditions, the harvest will fail to match the previous season.
In a survey of farmer planting intentions, the
Illinois-based research and brokerage firm Allendale saw soybean plantings up
6.5% year on year, at 88.825m acres.
This an even bigger increase year-on-year than that forecast
by the US Department of Agriculture last month, at 88.0m tonnes, reflecting the
relatively attractive price of soybeans compared to corn.
And it beats the 88.02bn acres forecast made by analyst Informa
Yields to fall,
despite rising acres
But Rich Nelson pointed out that if realised, the results of
this survey, which are modelled it on the USDA methodology, do not necessarily
mean rising soybean production.
"This will be very important to watch because given the
yield scenario this year, if we have normal weather and a return to trend
yields we actually will see a decline in production versus last year, believe
it or not," Mr Nelson said.
Allendale said that given trend yields the acreage forecast
suggested production at 4.14bn bushels in 2017-18, down from 4.31bn bushels in
the previous season.
Despite seeing much higher acres, Allendale's forecasts
actually undercut those from Informa, which saw production at 4.23bn bushels,
thanks to forecast of almost a bushel per acre higher production.
Lower acres and
yields for corn
Corn sowings were seen in line with the USDA's forecasts, at
90.02m acres, down 3.99m acres year-on-hear.
"Allendale's production estimate would imply a production
decrease of 1.3bn bushels off last year's record," the broker said.
"Lower acres and lower yields are the word for 2017."
Informa saw 2017 US corn production at 14.22bn bushels, thanks
to harvest area of 83.428 million acres.
Record low acres for
But Allandale saw wheat falling rapidly, missing even the
low USDA forecast, to just 45.97m acres.
"This would be the smallest acreage since the start of
USDA's current wheat planting data-series going back to 1919," the broker said.
Production was seen at 1.86bn bushels, down 454m bushels
year on year.