Huge Upward Adjustment for U.S. Corn Acres Catches Analysts Off Guard
Usually it’s yield outlooks that are subject to the greatest fluctuation this time of year, however, an unusual adjustment to U.S. corn acreage from the government maintains hopes that this season will see near record output despite weaker yields.
Following a review of acreage registration data collected by the USDA’s Farm Service Agency, the USDA has increased projected corn acreage by 774,000 acres - compared to the average trade estimate calling for an increase of 120,000 acres and a top-end guess of 678,000 acres.
An increase in harvested acreage of this size is the largest since the mid-1990s, with the only other significant increases being 700,000 acres in 2007, and 600,000 in 2021.
This adjustment solidified a 10-year high in corn planting of 94.4 million acres, boosting output expectations to 15,134 billion bushels, and offsetting an expected decline in yield to 173.8 bushels per acre.
But what was so different about this year that it sparked such a huge adjustment?