Could There Really Be 101 Million Corn Acres Intended For This Year?

Crop Production Confusion 081419

USDA says the area planted for corn is 90 million acres. FSA says prevent plant acres are roughly 11 million acres for corn. Add the numbers up and the industry questions whether farmers intended to plant 101 million acres. 

Farm Service Agency reporting 19.4 million prevent plant acres total, a record since the agency began the report in 2007. Eleven million of those acres are corn. 

USDA-NASS representatives says the Agency counted planted corn as planted corn, no matter the purpose. 

"It's for all purposes," said Lance Honig, Chief of the Crops Branch with NASS. "That means it could be for grain, for silage, [and] some of those acres may not even get harvested." 

Weather was tough for planting this year. While it forced some to plant beans due to a late season, trade woes lingered. The second round of trade aid was announced late spring but the biggest decision driver was prices. 

"December corn was $4.50 and up to $4.70 for a big chunk of that planting window. November soybeans were $9.30 and $9.40 at best," said Standard Grain analysts Joe Vaclavik.

Back in the spring, farmers were faced with the decision of whether to put acres in prevent plant. Some crop insurance coverage has a higher payment for corn than soybeans. 

"Most farmers will have a higher prevent plant payment for corn versus soybeans, generally [that coverage] runs around $80 to $100 per acre," said University of Illinois Agricultural and Consumer Economics Specialist, Gary Schnitkey.

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