Analytics firm Informa Economics expects the USDA to raise its estimates of U.S. 2012 planted acreage for corn and soybeans, and the firm sees even bigger plantings for 2013, trade sources said Friday.
Informa estimated U.S. corn planted acreage for 2012 at 97.172 million acres, above USDA's current figure of 96.4 million. The firm estimated 2012 U.S. soybean planted acreage at 77.143 million acres, above USDA's estimate of 76.1 million. In a note to clients, Informa attributed the changes to certified acreage data released in recent weeks by USDA's Farm Service Agency.
Informa said USDA is likely to adjust its acreage figures when the agency updates its U.S. wheat production figures on Sept. 28 and U.S. and world crop production figures on Oct. 11. Applying its own updated acreage estimates, Informa pegged U.S. 2012 corn production at 11.093 billion bushels, with a yield of 126.6 million acres. The firm estimated corn harvested acres at 87.657 million.
The figures compare to USDA's latest estimate of 2012 corn production at 10.727 billion bushels, with a yield of 122.8 bushels per acre.
Informa on Sept. 7 projected U.S. corn production at 10.130 billion bushels with a yield of 119.8 bushels per acre, but also issued a "most likely final" estimate, incorporating some preliminary FSA acreage data, of 11.030 billion bushels, with a yield of 126.5 bushels per acre.
For soybeans, Informa on Friday pegged U.S. 2012 production at 2.663 billion bushels, based on an average yield of 35.2 bushels per acre. The firm showed harvested soybean acreage at 75.698 million acres.
USDA this month pegged the U.S. 2012 soybean crop at 2.634 billion bushels, with a yield of 35.3 bushels per acre.
On Sept. 7, Informa projected 2012 soybean production at 2.639 billion bushels with an average yield of 35.4 bushels per acre, but the firm's "most likely final" soybean production estimate was 2.686 billion bushels.
ACREAGE EXPANSION SEEN FOR 2013
For 2013, Informa projected that U.S. farmers would plant 97.537 million acres of corn, which if realized would be the most since 1936. Using a trend yield of 162.2 bushels per acre, Informa forecast 2013 corn production at a record-high 14.63 billion bushels.
The firm projected 2013 soybean plantings at 79.872 million acres, which would be an all-time high. Using a trend yield of 43.8 bushels per acre, Informa projected 2013 soybean production at a record-high 3.449 billion bushels.
Informa projected U.S. 2013 all-wheat plantings at 57.127 million acres, the most in four years. The firm pegged all-wheat production for 2013 at 2.307 billion bushels, a five-year high.
2012 U.S. WHEAT PRODUCTION
Informa projected U.S. 2012 all-wheat production at 2.273 billion bushels, slightly above the USDA current forecast of 2.268 billion.
The firm put U.S. 2012 production of "other spring" wheat - including hard red spring wheat and spring white wheat - at 525 million bushels, up from USDA's last forecast of 500 million. Informa pegged production of hard red spring wheat at 486 million bushels, above USDA's last forecast of 463 million.
Informa said in a note to clients that it raised its estimate of U.S. spring wheat acreage and yield compared to USDA's figures.
USDA was scheduled to release updated estimates of U.S. wheat production in its annual Small Grains Summary report on Sept. 28.
Informa estimated 2012 production of U.S. all-winter wheat at 1.660 billion bushels, below USDA's current forecast of 1.683 billion. In its note, the firm said it had reduced its estimate of U.S. winter wheat acreage compared to USDA's last figures.
By class, Informa estimated the hard red winter wheat crop at 1.002 billion bushels, soft red winter wheat at 425 million bushels and winter white wheat at 233 million bushels. Informa estimated the U.S. 2012 durum wheat crop at 87 million bushels, nearly unchanged from USDA's last forecast of 86 million.
(Reporting by Julie Ingwersen; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Sofina Mirza-Reid)