We can expect more corn and soybeans acres planted in 2013, said a University of Missouri agriculture business specialist at the Jan. 17 Winter AgMarketing Outlook Conference in Columbia, Mo.
“Corn acres this year will likely be about 99 million acres, which is 2 million more than last year,” David Reinbott said. “With a more normal weather pattern, most trend-line yield calculations put yield at 162 bushels an acre.
Planted acres of soybeans are also expected to increase about 2 million acres to 79 million in 2013. Reinbott says figuring 42 bushels an acre that would create a supply of 258 million bushels.
Winter wheat acres also increased from last year, but not as much as expected.
“There were 41.82 million acres of winter wheat planted,” Reinbott said. “The trade estimate was closer to 42.6 million acres. That’s about 700,000 less.”
Weather will continue to play a big role in the grain fields this year.
“It is still pretty dry in the western Corn Belt,” Reinbott said. “Some numbers have come out indicating that many parts of the southern Plains and western Corn Belt need significant rains just to get them back to normal.”
If there is plentiful rain that leads to a large crop, prices for both corn and soybeans will drop, he said. Depending on how big the crop is, corn prices could drop into the low $4s and possibly the upper $3s per bushel, and soybeans could drop $2 to $3 per bushel.
Reinbott also advised keeping an eye on South America’s corn crop. Both Argentina and Brazil now look to have a good crop rebounding from last year’s poor harvest, but that could change.
“If it turns dry the second half of the season, that could drop significantly,” Reinbott said. “So corn still has variability. It could go higher; it just depends on how that Brazilian and Argentina crop goes.”
Reinbott also touched on federal crop insurance, recommending that producers take advantage of the opportunity to participate in it.
“Right now we are probably 50 cents or more above what the crop insurance price is going to be compared to last year,” Reinbott said. “We’ll be setting that in the month of February, so if we see rallies continue we are going to be seeing a crop insurance price better than last year, and I think corn and soybean farmers need to look at that.”