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Analysts say Plantings Report Dictates Shift to Soybeans

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Friday USDA projected nearly 96 million corn acres will be planted this year, 4 percent more than last year. But quarterly stocks at 6.01 billion bushels were an 8 percent decrease from last year. For soybeans acreage was pegged to decline one percent to 74 million acres, under trade estimates of 75.4. Quarterly stocks of 1.37 billion bushels jumped 10 percent from last year.

The grain markets reacted with a sharp move higher and analysts’ reactions to the report varied, but those HAT spoke with agreed the acreage numbers signal a shift to planting soybeans. Jim Riley is in White County, Indiana.

“It appears now after Friday’s market action that the corn-soybean ratio is up to about 2.5 plus, and I’ve already had several farmers tell me today they’re thinking about planting more beans than corn,” he told HAT. “And of course some of that will bear on weather conditions, and right now weather conditions still look conducive to early corn planting.”

Dr. Chris Hurt from Purdue said the very large corn acreage will tend to depress new crop corn prices. But with lower soybean acres supportive of new crop bean prices, it’s time for farmers to take another look at the corn and soybean mix.

“The market now, in the next several days or weeks, is going to try to still buy more bean acres. Competition for acres most of the winter, at least through the beginning of February was saying corn, more corn. That’s what USDA picked up as intentions. It’s now saying too much corn. We need to back off of corn some and look at beans. So I think producers should rethink that corn and soybean mix, or at least redo their calculations and put beans a little bit higher in their priorities this year.”

In Indiana specifically, USDA said soybean stocks are up and the opposite is true for corn and wheat.

Corn stocks in all positions on March 1, 2012 in Indiana totaled 391.3 million bushels, down 3 percent from last year. On-farm corn stocks totaled 205.0 million bushels, down 11 percent from the previous year. Off-farm corn stocks totaled 186.3 million bushels, up 7 percent from 2011.

Soybean stocks in all positions totaled 104.0 million bushels, up 10 percent from last year. On-farm soybean stocks totaled 48.0 million bushels, up 14 percent from March 1, 2011. Indiana off-farm soybean stocks totaled 56.0 million bushels, up 6 percent from the previous year.

Winter Wheat stocks in all positions totaled 36.9 million bushels, down slightly from a year ago.[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/04/USDA-March-2012-analyst-reaction.mp3|titles=USDA March 2012 analyst reaction]