Projecting crop production and trade for the next decade
- In the short term, the U.S. crops sector responds to continuing high prices for most crops in 2012/13. Planted area for the 8 major field crops in 2013 is projected at more than 254 million acres. While that is down from the large acreage planted in 2012 when favorable spring weather combined with strong economic incentives, 2013 plantings would be the second largest acreage since 2000.
- The combination of world economic growth, a depreciating dollar, and continued expansion of global biofuels production supports longer run gains in world consumption and trade of crops.
- Acreage enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is projected to decline below 28 million acres in 2013-14 before rising back to close to 32 million acres by the end of projection period.
- Assuming that corn planting progress by the middle of May 2013 is at the average over the past 10 years of 80 percent, that June weather is not extremely dry, and that average weather occurs in July, the model suggests a 2013 corn yield of about 164.3 bushels an acre.
- After the 96.9 mil planted acres in 2012 and a projected 96 mil. in 2013, USDA expects corn acreage will decline and float between 88 and 92 million.
- Average corn prices will drop to $5.40 for the new crop and never above $5 for a yearly average through 2023.
- Similarly, with average July-August weather and June weather that is not extremely dry, the soybean model suggests a 2013 yield of 44.6 bushels an acre. The weighted average of soybean yield estimates for alternative levels of July-August precipitation results in a lower mean expected soybean yield for 2013 of 44.5 bushels per acre.
- Strong wheat prices and expected net returns boost wheat plantings for 2013. However, with relatively weak overall demand growth projected for wheat, producer returns initially fall and then rise less than returns for other crops in subsequent years. This leads to a decline in wheat plantings to 50 million acres by the end of the projection period.
- U.S. soybean plantings decline from high levels of 2012 during the initial years of the projections, as prices and producer returns fall. Over the rest of the projection period, growth in both domestic use and export demand lead to increases in prices and returns. Soybean plantings increase somewhat before remaining steady toward the end of the projections.
- Soybean plantings are expected to reach 77 million acres this year, and float between 74 and 76 million.