USDA’s “Acreage”  report on June 30 will most likely prove to be more important than usual in terms of better estimating the actual number of acres planted this spring to corn, soybeans, and other grains and oilseeds, a number of analysts said after the release of USDA’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates this week. Analysts were reacting to the World Agricultural Outlook Board’s somewhat unusual action to reduce  new crop corn acreage  in its June report.  The board’s report this week put planted corn acres at 90.7 million, 1.5 million acres less than its May estimate.  USDA also raised its abandonment/corn-for-silage rate for the 2011 corn crop.  Last year, USDA’s harvested for grain-to-planted corn acres was 92.3 percent compared with the current estimated ratio of 91.7 percent for 2011.  Planting delays, flood damage, and severe drought essentially compelled USDA to recognize these weather problems and adjust acreage accordingly.

USDA did not change its estimated corn yield, leaving it at 158.7 bushels per acre.  The acreage adjustment dropped expected corn harvest this fall by 305 million bushels.  Thus, this year’s corn production is estimated at 13.200 billion bushels, 6.0 percent more than in 2010, but 2.3 percent less than last month’s outlook.

Ending corn stocks for 2011-12 were cut from 900 million bushels in the May report to 695 million bushels in this week’s report.  For 2010-11, the ending corn stocks were 730 million bushels.  With this week’s report, the stocks-to-use ratio for corn for 2011-12 would be 5.2 percent compared with 5.4 percent in 2010-11 and 13.1 percent in 2009-10.  USDA raised its forecast for the average farm price for corn for 2011/12 to $6.00-$7.00 per bushel, 50 cents higher on each end of the price range last month and compares with a 2010-11 price range of $5.20-$5-50 per bushel.