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Why NASS and FSA Planted Acreage Differs

Podcast / Newsline September 4, 2019

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Discrepancies in planted acreage data between Department of Agriculture agencies contribute to the uncertainty of the 2019 crop size. Micheal Clements has more.

Clements: Recent reports from the Farm Service Agency and National Agricultural Statistics Service differ in planted acreage, adding to confusion regarding the 2019 crop size. However, the difference in data is attributed to a difference in reporting procedures, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. AFBF Economist Michael Nepveux says the 2019 USDA reports have been a roller coaster.

Nepveux: Most recently, on August 12, Farm Service Agency of USDA released their acreage reported for the United States and they came out with 86 million acres of corn and 74 million acres of soybeans. On that same day, USDA’s NASS came out with 90 million acres of corn and 77 million acres of soybeans.

Clements: The American Farm Bureau says the reason for the difference is the FSA requires producers who participate in farm programs to report their acreage to the agency, and not all producers participate in FSA programs. Meanwhile, USDA NASS attempts to estimate all planted acreage. Nepveux expects the data gap will decrease over time.

Nepveux: We actually just recently had a report released by FSA and what we saw is an increase in their number of acreage that they were reporting. Both corn and soybeans added approximately 800,000 acres. We can expect FSA to release more reports throughout the rest of the fall and with each of those reports we expect it to increase it just a little bit to get closer to that NASS number but never truly equal it.

Clements: The August report did not include USDA’s objective yield report. He says future reports this fall will, but uncertainty will continue until the entire crop is harvested.

Nepveux: That’s going to be something that is going to be incorporated into the next few crop production reports where you might see a little more certainty around the yield estimates. But, given the weather that we’ve been having and the possibly for an early freeze or early frost, I think there’s still going to be a lot of uncertainty around those yield numbers.

Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.

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