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  • By Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Global AgInvesting Media

2015 U.S. Soybeans Forecast to Beat Record; Corn Lowest in Five Years

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is forecasting that the 85.1 million acres of U.S. soybeans planted for 2015 will set a new record – 2% above the record set in 2014.

Harvested soybean acreage for 2015 is estimated at 84.4 million acres – 1.4 million acres above last year, and Kentucky, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin are all expected to see record high planted acreage. In its latest report, NASS noted that soybean stockpiles total 625 billion bushels – a 54% increase over stockpiles on June 1, 2014, while on-farm stocks were 126% above the same time last year, and off-farm stocks were up 28% over last year.

However, findings regarding corn are in high contrast to those for soybeans. U.S. corn growers have planted 88.9 million acres – the lowest overall acreage planted in the past five years. The growing season has been difficult, with multiple states experiencing drought, while others have seen the highest rainfall in recorded history.

With the exception of Wisconsin, which will see a 3% increase in corn acreage, planted acres in the country’s Corn Belt is expected to remain equal or slightly decreased from 2014. Acreage of corn planted for grain is expected to be 81.1 million acres – down 2% from last year.

NASS’s latest report indicates that corn stocks totaled 4.45 billion bushels – up 15% from the same time last year. On-farm stocks were up 22% from a year ago, and off-farm stocks were up 9% from last year.

Total U.S. feed grain production for 2015 is forecast to be 362.3 million tons – down 14.7 million tons from last season – driven by lower corn production (although partially offset by higher sorghum, barley, and oat production).

Beginning feed grain stocks (July) are estimated to be 2.2 million tons, and imports are projected to be 2.8 million tons, with the total 2015/2016 feed grain supply estimated to be 413.2 million tons.

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