Farmers planted 96.41 million acres of corn this past spring, almost half a million acres more than USDA’s initial March survey indicated and 4.5 million acres more than a year ago, according to the USDA’s “Acreage” report today from the National Agricultural Statistics Service.USDA’s current forecast for harvested corn acres this year is lower than the department’s June estimate because there will be higher abandonment rates and more silage use than earlier forecasts.  In 2011, corn harvested for grain was 83.98 million acres compared with 88.85 million acres for 2012 expected in today’s report, 4.87 million acres more than a year earlier.

Farmers took advantage of early wheat harvests to double crop soybeans, the “Daily Livestock Report” said in today’s edition.  As a result, soybean plantings are well above the March survey indications and also above analysts estimates.  Farmers indicated they planted 76.08 million acres of soybeans, half a million acres more than what analysts were expecting, and 1.1 million acres more than a year ago.  While expected, the higher soybean acres should help moderate some of the bullishness in the soybean complex.  But, as with corn, much will depend on weather patterns in the coming weeks.  The soybean crop has not been damaged as much as corn by the recent high temperatures but it is important to get some much needed rain in the next two to three weeks, the “Daily Livestock Report” concluded.

USDA also reported today in its “Grain Stock” release that June 1 corn inventories were 3.148 billion bushels, about 33 million bushels lower than what pre-report estimates were expecting (-1.1%).  The “Daily Livestock Report” said the overall impact on the corn supply and demand balance sheet is minimal.