USDA: Farmers to Plant Fewer Corn Acres in 2017

March 31, 2017

USDA: Farmers to Plant Fewer Corn Acres in 2017

Mar 31, 2017

American farmers expect to plant four million fewer acres of corn in 2017, a four percent decrease from 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Prospective Plantings report released today.   If realized, total corn plantings in the United States will reach the lowest planted acreage since 2010.


“U.S. farmers produced an abundant crop in 2016. Given the strong carryover entering this growing season, the drop in planted acres demonstrates how farmers can react to market conditions,” National Corn Growers Association President Wesley Spurlock said.  “While many factors may change the reality on the ground as planting progresses, American corn supplies should remain ample for the year to come. Even though production may be down slightly, the work being done at NCGA to grow demand will still be important as we work to find markets for our product and remain profitable into the future.”


The USDA’s estimate for 2017 is for 90 million acres to be planted in field corn.  Assuming the five-year average 91.5 percent harvest rate and the projected 25-year trend yield of 170.8 bushels per acre is achieved, farmers will harvest 14.06 billion bushels, the third-highest level of U.S. corn production on record. 


Of the major corn-producing states, the largest increases in planted acreage is expected to be in Kansas, where planted acres are expected to increase to 102 percent of their 2016 level. The largest percentage increases are expected in southern states such as Alabama and Mississippi.


In the Grain Stocks report, also released this morning, USDA shows corn stocks in all positions stood at 8.62 billion bushels on March 1, 2017, up ten percent from the same time last year.  Figures for on-farm storage stood 13 percent higher than last year at 4.91 billion bushels while off-farm stocks were up six percent from a year prior at 3.71 billion bushels. In total, USDA shows 3.77 billion bushels of corn used between December and February, compared with 3.41 over the same period in 2016.


For the full Prospective Plantings report, click here.


For the full Grain Stocks report, click here.