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Corn+Soybean Digest

Winter Wheat Seedings Plunge 14%, Stocks Skyrocket

A series of recent USDA reports showed dramatic changes in U.S. wheat seedings, stocks and exports and a record breaking corn and soybean crop that moved the markets in the range of 30-40¢/bu. for all three major crops. The Winter Wheat Seedings report showed winter wheat in 2010 at 37.1 million acres, down 14%. Hard red winter (HRW) is projected at 27.8 million acres, down 12%, while soft red winter (SRW) is projected at 5.92 million acres, down 29%. White winter is projected at 3.33 million acres, down just one 1%, though durum plantings in Arizona and California were estimated down by a third.

A mid-January USDA report on grain stocks showed wheat in storage as of Dec. 1 at 1.77 billion bushels, up 24% from a year earlier and the most in stocks since 2000.

USDA’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE), showed 2009-2010 U.S. wheat ending stocks at 76 million bushels higher this month with lower expected domestic use and exports.

WASDE projected feed use down by 20 million bushels from its December projection, seed use down 6 million bushels from the December estimates and exports down 50 million bushels from the December estimates. If the projected 825 million bushels export numbers stick, 2009-2010 exports would be the lowest since 1971-1972.

A crop production report looking at most major commodities showed that both corn and soybean crops are projected to hit record highs in 2009. Corn production is 13.2 billion bushels, 1% above the previous record of 13 billion bushels set in 2007 and 9% higher than 2008. Corn yields reached an all-time high in 2009 at 165.2 bu./acre, eclipsing the previous record of 160.3 bu. set in 2004. Planted area, at 86.5 million acres, is the second highest since 1949, behind 2007’s 93.5 million.

The 2009 soybean crop broke records for planted and harvested area as well as for yield and production. Soybean production totaled 3.36 billion bushels, up 13% from 2008 and up 5% from the previous record set in 2006. The average yield per acre is 44 bu., up 0.9 bu. from the previous record set in 2005. Farmers nationwide planted a total of 77.5 million soybean acres and harvested 76.4 million in 2009, both up 2% from the previous record set last year.

NASS estimates 2009 rice production up 8% from 2008, grain sorghum production down 19% from 2008 and all cotton production down 3% from the previous year.

To read more from the seedings report, visit

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