Editor’s note: Bobby Coats is a professor in the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture.
Eugene Young, regional deputy director, USDA-NASS, Delta Regional Office on April 1 discussed “Results and Review of the 2015 March Planting Intentions and Stocks Reports” with Tony Franco, Arkansas’ FSA chief of the farm program division, Anita Wilson, FSA agricultural program specialist, and me.
- Intro – 1:30 minutes
- Principal Row Crops Planted Acreage – 5:15 minutes
- Change in Planted Acres – 7:00 minutes
- Corn – 7:55 minutes
- Soybeans – 9:00 minutes
- 2015 Combined Corn and Soybean Planted Area – 10:20 minutes
- All Cotton Acres – 11:00 minutes
- All Rice – 12:00 minutes
- Winter Wheat – 12:40 minutes
- Summary of Arkansas and U.S. Prospective Planting by crop - 13:45 minutes
- Grain Stocks – 20:35 minutes
- Rice Stocks – 24:50 minutes
- Presentation and Farm Bill Discussion – 27:40 minutes
Eugene said, “I have been with NASS for 26 years, 16 of those years in Arkansas, and producer indecision about 2015 planting intentions was at an all-time high.
“I believe this best explains the conservative nature of the report. Cotton, rice and grain price uncertainty without question is creating indecision about producer planting intentions. This is one of those years where the producer, banker, landowner, etc., all need to be focused on their collective bottom-line.
“In today’s global economic setting, a conservative U.S. Prospective Planting report (see Corn acres drop 2 percent, sorghum soars 11 percent) allows USDA to make reasonable adjustments to their 2014-15 and their 2015-16 balance sheets as the production year progresses.”
Corn: Growers intend to plant 89.2 million acres of corn for all purposes in 2015, down 2 percent from last year and down 6 percent from 2013. If realized, this will be the lowest planted acreage in the United States since 2010. The reduction in planted acres is mainly due to the expectation of lower prices and returns in 2015. Planted acreage for 2015 is expected to be down across most of the Corn Belt with the exceptions being Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Sorghum: Growers intend to plant 7.90 million acres of sorghum for all purposes in 2015, up 11 percent from last year. Kansas and Texas, the leading sorghum producing states, account for 75 percent of the expected U.S. acreage. As of March 22, Texas growers had only planted 7 percent of their crop, 7 percentage points behind last year and 21 points behind the five-year average.
Winter wheat: The 2015 winter wheat planted area is estimated at 40.8 million acres, down 4 percent from 2014 but up less than 1 percent from the previous estimate. States with notable acreage increases from the previous estimate were Missouri, Montana, and Oklahoma, while notable decreases occurred in Nebraska and North Dakota. If realized, a new record low would be set in Utah. Of the total acreage, about 29.6 million acres are hard red winter, 7.75 million acres are soft red winter, and 3.43 million acres are white winter.
Rice: Area planted to rice in 2015 is expected to total 2.92 million acres, down 1 percent from 2014. The expectation of lower prices for 2015 is contributing to the expected decline in rice acres compared with last year. While long grain acres are expected to be down only slightly from 2014, medium and short grain acres are expected to be down 1 and 11 percent respectively. California, the largest medium and short grain producing state, continues to experience a severe drought and is expected to decrease medium and short grain acres in 2015. Medium grain acres in Arkansas and Louisiana are expected to increase from 2014, which is helping to offset the expected acreage decline in California.
Soybeans: Growers intend to plant a record high 84.6 million acres in 2015, up 1 percent from last year. Compared with last year, planted acreage intentions are up or unchanged in 21 of the 31 major producing states. Increases of 200,000 acres or more are anticipated in Arkansas, Iowa, and Ohio. Compared with last year, the largest declines are expected in Kansas and Nebraska. If realized, the planted area in Kentucky, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Wisconsin will be the largest on record.
Peanuts: Growers intend to plant 1.48 million acres in 2015, up 9 percent from the previous year. The expected increase in planted area is mainly due to relatively low prices of other crops, especially cotton. In Georgia, the largest peanut-producing State, planted area is expected to be up 20 percent from 2014. If realized, planted acres in South Carolina will be a record high.
Cotton: Growers intend to plant 9.55 million acres in 2015, down 13 percent from last year. If realized, this will be the lowest planted acreage in the United States since 2009. Upland area is expected to total 9.40 million acres, down 13 percent from 2014, and the lowest estimated United States upland acreage since 2009. American Pima area is expected to total 150,000 acres, down 22 percent from 2014. Growers in all states except Oklahoma are expected to reduce planted acreage from last year. If realized, planted area in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Tennessee would be record lows.
Corn: Growers intend to plant 530,000 acres, down 2 percent from last year’s 540,000 acres.
Cotton: All cotton acreage intentions are at 230,000 acres, down 31 percent from last year’s 335,000 acres. If realized, this will be the lowest planted acres on record. Record keeping on planted acreage began in 1909.
Rice: Intended planted acres for all rice for 2015 are 1.44 million acres, down 3 percent from the previous year’s 1.48 million acres.
Sorghum: Growers intend to plant 250,000 acres, up 47 percent from last year.
Soybeans: Soybean growers intend to plant 3.45 million acres in 2015, up 6 percent from last year. If realized, this will be the highest since 1998 when the state planted 3.55 million acres.
Winter Wheat: Wheat acreage in Arkansas is down 16 percent from last year to an estimated 390,000 acres planted for all purposes in 2015.