Soybeans Rise to Record in U.S. Planting Intentions for 2022

Corn, Soybean, Wheat and Cotton Prospective Plantings Report Indicates Farmers Will Answer Call for Record Production

Market Intel / March 31, 2022

Credit: Arkansas Farm Bureau, used with permission.  

USDA published its annual survey-based Prospective Plantings report on March 31, giving the first look at what U.S. farmers intend to plant for principal crops in 2022. The report estimates that as of March 1, U.S. farmers intend to plant a record 91 million acres of soybeans, 89.5 million acres of corn, 47.4 million acres of wheat and 12.2 million acres of cotton. Combined, the estimated acres for corn and soybeans would match the 2021 record of 180.5 million acres. Total acres for corn, soybeans and wheat are estimated to reach nearly 228 million acres, just behind the record set in 2014 when 230.7 million acres of the three crops combined were planted. The caveat for the 2022 growing season is ensuring that farmers have the input supplies needed to turn these record planted acres into a bountiful crop.

At the 2022 Agricultural Outlook Forum in February, USDA estimated farmers would plant only 88 million acres of soybeans, 92 million acres of corn, 48 million acres of wheat and 12.7 million acres of cotton. Leading up to this report, analysts’ estimates were much higher, especially for corn, as commodity prices remain high but concerns for availability of inputs persist. Analysts’ estimates for corn were around 92 million acres, while soybean forecasts were closer to 88.7 million acres. Wheat acres were speculated to be 47.8 million acres and analysts had cotton acres closer to 12 million acres.

For corn, U.S. farmers intend to plant 89.5 million acres of corn in 2022. When compared to USDA’s February estimates, corn planted acres decreased by 2.5 million acres. The Prospective Plantings report also indicates farmers intend to plant 3.9 million fewer corn acres in 2022 than in 2021, a year-over-year decrease of 4.2%. For 2022 soybeans, USDA estimates farmers intend to plant 91 million acres, 3 million more acres of soybeans than what USDA projected in February 2022 and another increase in soybean planted acres after U.S. farmers planted 4.6 million more acres of soybeans in 2021 compared to 2020. Compared to the February Ag Outlook estimates, the report indicates farmers will plant slightly fewer wheat acres, down by 600,000 acres compared to February estimates, however wheat acreage in the U.S. continues to rise. This report also indicates that farmers intend to plant slightly fewer cotton acres than USDA originally estimated in February, only lowering by about 500,000 acres, but still continues the trend of increased planted cotton acres.

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Soybeans

According to USDA’s Prospective Plantings survey, U.S. farmers intend for 2022 to be a record year for soybean planted acres. For the 2022/23 marketing year, soybean planted acres are estimated to rise to the highest number yet, with USDA indicating 91 million acres of soybeans will be planted in 2022. This would be a 4.4% increase from 2021, after a 4.6% increase from 2020 to 2021. Illinois is poised to plant the largest amount of soybean acres, with 11 million intended in 2022, up 3.8% from 10.6 million in 2021. Second is Iowa, with 10.4 million acres, up 3% from 10.1 million acres in 2021. Minnesota is expected to be third, with 8 million acres of soybeans, up 4.6% from 2021, when 7.65 million acres were planted. Texas is expected to have the largest increase of soybean planted acres, jumping 45.5%, from 110,000 acres in 2021 to 160,000 acres in 2022. The second-largest increase, 21.4%, is anticipated in Georgia, where growers intend to go from 140,000 acres in 2021 to 170,000 acres in 2022. The third-largest increase of soybean planted area is estimated in Tennessee, with an increase of 19.4%, from 1.55 million acres in 2021 to 1.85 million acres in 2022. The figures below show each state’s intended soybean planted acreage for 2022 and the year-over-year change.

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Corn

USDA’s estimate of 89.5 million acres of corn for the 2022/23 marketing year is much lower than the 93.4 million acres planted in 2021 and would be the lowest amount of corn planted since 2018 if farmers follow through with these intentions. Corn acreage is expected to be the highest in Iowa at 12.6 million acres, down 2.3% from 2021, when 12.9 million acres were planted. This decrease follows a 5% decrease in planted acres from 2020 to 2021 for the state, as is the trend for many other states, indicating a shift away from corn to other commodities. This is a direct indication that the high cost of fertilizer, which is most heavily used on corn, and the increased cost of other inputs are influencing U.S. corn plantings.The second-largest state for intended corn acres is Illinois at 10.7 million acres, down 2.7% from 2021, followed by Nebraska with 9.7 million acres, down 2% from 2021. Oklahoma is estimated to have the largest year-over-year change in planted corn acres, with an estimated 380,000 acres planted, up 11.8% from 2021, when 340,000 acres were planted. Colorado is the second-largest year-over-year increase of intended planted corn acres, with 1.45 million acres of corn, up 5.1% compared to 2021, when 1.38 million acres were planted. The third-largest increase is expected in New Mexico, with 125,000 acres of corn planted, up 4.2% from 2021, when 120,000 acres were planted. The figures below show each state’s intended corn planted acreage for 2022 and displays the year-over-year change.

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Wheat

Wheat planted acres for the 2022/23 marketing year are on the rise as USDA estimates 47.4 million acres of wheat will be planted by U.S. farmers, an increase of 1.5% compared to 2021, after a 4.9% increase from 2020 to 2021. Kansas is expected to plant the largest amount of wheat acres, with 7.4 million intended for all varieties of wheat in 2022, up 1.4% from 7.3 million in 2021. Second is North Dakota, with 6.2 million acres, down almost 3% from 6.4 million acres in 2021. Montana is expected to plant the third-largest amount of wheat, with 5.9 million acres, up 7.6% from 2021, when 5.5 million acres were planted. Missouri is expected to have the largest increase of wheat planted acres in 2022, increasing 25%, from 640,000 acres in 2021 to 800,000 acres. The second-largest increase, 22%, is anticipated in Virginia, where farmers will go from 205,000 acres in 2021 to 250,000 acres in 2022. The third-largest increase of wheat planted area is estimated in North Carolina -- 15.6%, going from 450,000 acres in 2021 to 520,000 acres in 2022. The figures below show each state’s intended wheat planted acreage and displays the year-over-year change.

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Cotton

In the 2022/23 marketing year, USDA expects cotton planted acres to increase to 12.2 million acres, up 8.7% compared to 2021, when 11.2 million acres were planted. This estimate is close to planted acres in 2020. Texas is expected to plant the largest amount of cotton acres in 2022, with 6.8 million acres intended for all varieties of cotton, up 7.1% compared to 2021 when 6.3 million acres were planted. The second-largest amount of intended cotton planted acres is in Georgia, with 1.2 million acres, up 2.6% from 1.17 million acres in 2021. Oklahoma is expected to plant the third-largest amount of cotton in 2022, with 530,000 acres in cotton, up 7.1% from 2021, when 495,000 acres were planted. Louisiana is expected to have the largest increase in cotton planted acres for 2022, increasing 81.8%, from 110,000 acres in 2021 to 200,000 acres. The second-largest increase in cotton acres is expected in New Mexico, with an increase of 27.8%, from 48,500 acres in 2021 to 62,000 acres in 2022. The third-largest increase of cotton planted area, 24.6%, is anticipated in California, where farmers intend to increase plantings from 114,000 acres in 2021 to 142,000 acres in 2022. The figures below show each state’s intended cotton planted acreage and displays the year-over-year change.

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Summary

The Prospective Plantings report contains the first survey-based estimates USDA issues of crop production for the upcoming marketing year, which is especially significant in a year with so much market uncertainty. Despite the market volatility, U.S. farmers indicate they are willing to step up to the challenge of record or near-record commodity production levels. Soybean planted acres are expected to reach their highest levels on record and wheat planted acres continue to increase year over year. All of this to say, there will be more pressure than ever for farmers to deliver on these intentions with increased yields and minimal weather disasters. Market reactions to the report’s release, primarily due to the continued decline in intended corn acres, caused the corn September future price to jump more than 25 cents before settling 20 cents above opening price for the day, near $7.00 per bushel. Soybean September future prices had the opposite reaction, falling 37 cents below the day’s opening price to around $14.74 per bushel. The wheat September future prices looked to rise ahead of the report’s release, up to almost $10.50 per bushel, before falling 39 cents below the opening day price to $9.96 per bushel. Cotton October future price reacted positively to the news of increased planted acres and rose 1.6 cents for the day. The next crop acreage update for the 2022/2023 marketing year will be USDA’s June 30 Acreage report.

Contact:
Shelby Myers
Economist
(202) 406-3724
shelbym@fb.org
 

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