With the 2023 harvest approaching, if not here already for some, next year’s crop is likely also on the minds of U.S. farmers. Jacquie Holland is a grain market analyst with Farm Futures and says the acreage battle between corn and soybeans might not be as intense next spring.
Holland says, “Our farmers indicated that maybe it’s not going to be quite as contentious of a battle as we’ve tried to forecast in previous years. Our farmers indicated they were looking to plant 93.1 million acres of corn and 85.4 million acres of soybeans. For those of you keeping track with USDA’s latest acreage estimate, that’s about a one percent decrease from 2023 corn acres but a two percent increase from the soybean acreage that was planted this year.”
She talks about some of the factors that may be causing some acreage shuffling in 2024.
“So, I think the big driver here comes down to looking at the fertilizer side,” according to Holland. “Fertilizer prices have come down, but they’re still high relative to historical levels. And there is a little bit more of a risk that we’re going to see phosphate and potassium prices remain high headed into next year. So, it kind of limits the outside market incentives that would be pulling acres one way or the other.”
Holland also talks about 2024 wheat planting intentions. “We’re expecting to see a five percent increase in winter wheat acreage planted this fall for harvest next year, and then about an eight percent increase in spring wheat acres planted next spring. And I think a lot of that story is derived from the dynamics we’re dealing with today. The spring wheat crop got hit with a lot of heat and dryness here as it was heading and hasn’t had a whole lot of rain relief.”
Even with a bigger winter wheat acreage expected, it will still be the ninth-smallest winter wheat area sown in the U.S.