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USDA Reports Summary

By DTN Staff

This article was originally posted at 11:03 a.m. CDT. It was updated at 12:02 p.m.

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OMAHA (DTN) -- USDA on Tuesday released its annual Planting Intentions and quarterly March 1 Grain Stocks reports.

Because DTN and other news outlets no longer have pre-release access to the reports, instead of one story, we are now sending a series of updates with each including more information as our analysts and reporters digest and analyze the new numbers.

According to DTN Lead Analyst Todd Hultman, Tuesday's Grain Stocks report was bullish for corn, and neutral for soybeans and wheat. USDA's planting intentions are bearish for new-crop corn, bullish for new-crop soybeans and neutral for new-crop wheat.

Check this page throughout the morning for important highlights from the reports and commentary from our analysts on what the numbers mean.

You can also access the full reports here:

For DTN's exclusive audio comments on today's reports, visit: http://listen.aghost.net/…

-- Grain Stocks and Prospective Plantings: https://www.nass.usda.gov/…

PROSPECTIVE PLANTINGS

USDA expects farmers to plant 97 million acres to corn, above the range of pre-report expectations. If realized, it will the highest acreage since 2012. Planted acreage is expected to be higher than last year in 38 of the 48 reporting states. USDA surveyed farmers in the first two weeks of March, during which Saudi Arabia and Russia’s oil dispute shook global markets including ethanol.

Soybean acreage is estimated at 83.5 million acres, toward the low end of pre-report expectations. Compared to last year, planting intentions are up or unchanged in 22 of the 29 reporting states, with large increases anticipated in Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio and South Dakota.

All wheat acreage is estimated at 44.7 million acres, 1% below last year's levels and the lowest since recordkeeping began in 1919. Winter wheat area, at 30.8 million acres is down from last year but even with pre-report expectations. Of that total, 21.7 ma will be planted to hard red winter, 5.69 to soft red winter, 3.42 ma to white winter. Spring wheat acreage is expected to decline 1% from last year to 12.6 million acres.

All cotton area is estimated at 13.7 ma, down less than 1% from last year.

USDA MARCH 1 GRAIN STOCKS

CORN

Corn stocks on March 1 totaled 7.95 billion bushels (bb), down 8% from stocks a year ago and lower than the average pre-report analyst estimates. Of those corn stocks, farmers were holding 4.45 bb on the farm, which is 13% lower than a year ago. Off-farm stocks were at 3.5 bb, up just slightly from the same period in 2019.

Disappearance, or use, from December 2019 to February 2020 was 3.45 bb, compared to 3.32 bb for the same period last year.

SOYBEANS

As of March 1, soybean grain stocks were pegged at 2.25 bb, down 17% from last year and within the range analysts expected. Of those, USDA estimated 1.01 bb were stored on farm, down 20% from last year, and 1.24 bbwere stored off-farm, down 15% from last year.

The agency estimated that soybean usage for this past quarter (December 2019-February 2020) totaled 1 bb, down 1% from the same time period last year.

WHEAT

Total wheat stocks were estimated at 1.41 bb on March 1, down 11% from a year ago and within analysts' pre-report range of estimates. On-farm stocks were pegged at 339 million bushels (mb), down 8% from last year, while off-farm stocks came in at 1.07 bb, down 12% from last year.

Usage from December 2019 through February 2020 was estimated at 428 mb, 3% up from the same period last year.

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Editor's Note: Join us for a post-report webinar at noon, CDT on Tuesday, March 31. In addition, DTN's Senior Ag Meteorologist Bryce Anderson will offer comments about spring planting weather and Livestock Analyst ShayLe Stewart will explain how coronavirus has affected livestock markets. To register, visit: https://dtn.webex.com/…

QUARTERLY STOCKS (million bushels)
3/1/20 Avg High Low 12/1/19 3/1/19
Corn 7,953 8,162 8,492 7,892 11,389 8,613
Soybeans 2,253 2,237 2,701 2,075 3,252 2,727
Wheat 1,412 1,437 1,572 1,385 1,834 1,593
PROSPECTIVE PLANTINGS
ACREAGE (million acres) USDA USDA
3/31/19 Avg High Low 2018-19 3/29/19
Corn 97.0 94.3 96.4 92.5 89.7 92.8
Soybeans 83.5 84.7 87.0 82.7 76.1 84.6
Cotton 13.7 13.8
Grain Sorghum 5.8 5.1
All Wheat 44.7 44.9 46.0 42.3 45.2 45.8
Winter 30.8 30.8 31.7 30.1 31.2 31.5
Spring 12.6 12.6 13.4 12.0 12.7 12.8
Durum 1.3 1.5 2.4 1.1 1.3 1.4

(BE/AG)