Many crop analysts are suggesting the scenario is being set for a record corn harvest this fall with corn acreage expected to be 95.86 million acres this year, an increase of 4 percent over last year. But in the end, much depends on the weather conditions in order to achieve a record crop.

USDA’s “Prospective Plantings” report today had corn acreage 1.14 million acres above consensus expectations of analysts of 94.72 million acres.  USDA said that if 95.86 million acres of corn are planted this year, it would be second only to the 97.2 million acres in 1937.  Apparently, some of the increase in corn acres will come at the expense of acres for soybeans this spring.  Soybean plantings are estimated to be 73.9 million acres, 1.4 percent below the 74.98 million acres last year and 1.49 million acres under analysts’ consensus of 75.39 million acres.

Farmers could react to today’s report by shifting some corn acres to soybeans depending on market price reactions for these two crops.  At the same time, USDA’s grain stocks report which was also issued today had March 1, 2012 corn supplies at 6.01 billion bushels, 8 percent less than March 1, 2011 stocks.  This level implies corn usage during December 2011 through February 2012 of 3.64 billion bushels, 3.1 percent more than the 3.53 billion bushels during the same time period a year earlier, USDA reported.  Soybean stocks on March 1, 2012 were 1.37 billion bushels, up 10 percent from March 1, 2011.  Indicated soybean usage for December 2011 through February 2012 was 998 million bushels, a 3-percent decrease from the same time period a year earlier.