Crop Market Update: USDA Ag Outlook Forum Gives a First Look at the 2015 Crop

Corn has remained steady through much of the week, continuing a trend that started earlier this month. Thursday’s Greenville cash corn is 4 cents higher than a week ago, with nearby March futures contracts also up 4 cents on the week. The big news this week for most of our crop markets comes from the USDA’s annual Agricultural Outlook Forum held Thursday. Corn acres are expected to be 1.6 million acres lower this year with 89 million acres expected to be planted this spring. This came in very close to market analysts’ expectations and would mark the lowest corn acreage since 88.2 million acres were planted in 2010.

Soybean markets have had another strong week this week with Greenville cash prices trading 29 cents higher than a week ago and nearby futures contracts also trading 29 cents higher. A big driver of the market this week came as a result of the USDA’s lower forecasted soybean acres. Soybean acres are forecasted to be at 83.5 million acres, slightly lower than last year’s 83.7 million acres. This surprised many analysts who were expecting to see the forecasted acres to be higher at just over 86 million acres. The acreage forecast should provide a bullish tone to the market for now, but the upside is still limited given large global stocks.

Wheat has remained steady this week with Thursday’s Greenville cash wheat trading 2 cents higher than a week ago although Friday’s wheat futures are slipping a bit. The USDA’s outlook forum provided a bearish tone for wheat with a forecast production of 2.125 billion bushels, but weather conditions and uncertainty around the crop’s condition going into spring has kept the market from sliding too much.

Cotton has had a strong week with cash cotton prices in the south delta trading $2.67/cwt higher on the week. The USDA outlook forum likely added a boost to the market with forecasted cotton acres estimated to be 9.7 million acres this year, a 1.3 million acre decrease from a year ago and the lowest acreage since 2009.

For more detail on crop futures and Mississippi local crop prices click here.