US corn farmers are expected to plant 93.6 million acres of corn in 2016, the third highest since 1944, despite decade-high stocks.
Farmer revenues in the country have been declining faster than operating costs, while low prices and staunch competition could push US agri exports to their lowest level in years.
Yet growers are expected to increase corn plantings by 6 percent and keep soybean acreage just below 2014’s record highs, according to a report from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).
That means soybean acreage will reach 82.2 million acres in 2016, a less than 1 percent reduction on last year, when a record 83.3 million acres were sown. Wheat acreage is expected to decline by 9 percent to 49.6 million acres.
The result is that grain stocks for corn, soy and wheat are all expected to rise for the third straight year in 2016, reaching their highest levels in a decade, according to USDA data.
Purdue University agricultural economist Chris Hurt said the increase in acreage would push inventories up and prices down.
“The bottom line is that 93.6 million acres is too much corn acreage that with normal yields will cause further building of already large corn inventories,” Hurt said. “Production would be expected to move above 14 billion bushels, with corn prices at harvest falling to the lower $3 per bushel.”