Soybeans are up, corn is down and wheat is on the rise. That’s according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest planting forecast for 2021.
Riding a tide of strong exports, high prices and low ending stocks, farmers can expect U.S. soybean acreage to go up by about seven per cent next year, hitting 89 million acres, the third-highest on record. The two best years were 2017 and 2018.
Corn is on a downward trend, according to projections. The USDA is expecting planted acres to drop by 1.1 million down to 179 million acres. If so, it would still be the second-largest corn crop ever planted in the U.S., after 2017’s high of over 180 million acres.
Wheat has been on the backfoot in a big way but is showing signs of recovery. 2020 had the smallest wheat crop on record at 44.3 million acres, but the USDA is expecting another 1.6 million in the field next year.
The annual forecast also took a stab at next year’s yields. The USDA is expecting a record corn yield in 2021 despite lower planting numbers, while soybeans and wheat are expected to have lower yields despite planting increases.
While corn was king in the United States at 180.1 million acres this year, compare that to total Canadian acreage of all corn (grain and silage), soybeans and wheat for 2020 at 34.5 million acres.