The U.S. Ag Department is estimating that corn acres nationwide will drop by about eight million this spring, with the corn acres in Iowa down one-million. Soybean acres are expected to be up over 11-million nationwide — including a one-million acre increase in Iowa. Iowa Corngrowers Association president Tim Recker of Arlington, isn’t surprised the number of corn acres could be down.
Recker says the estimate is probably what is expected based on the commodity markets. He says the market is giving farmers the signal that it is time to plant corn. The demand for both corn and soybeans has been high — as have the prices, often driving the decisions farmers make. Recker says farmers should see how the latest estimates impact the commodity markets before making any final decision.
He says farmers may want to "let the market work for a couple of days until it gets direction." Recker says the market right now appears to be bullish on corn and somewhat neutral on soybeans. Recker says while the estimate shows a drop in acres this year, last year showed that can change between now and actual planting.
Recker says the planting intentions last year came out at 90-million acres and 93-million were actually planted. He says there could still be a chance that would happen this year, and he says weather and the cost of inputs will have a big role. Recker farms 1,500 acres of row crops, and says he’ll look at all the factors in determining how many acres he’ll put in corn.
Recker says he’ll look at the availability of inputs such as seed and fertilizer before making his final decision. The amount of corn and soybeans planted could have an impact on those outside of agriculture, as the availability and cost of commodities has an impact on food prices.