Corn Futures Rally After Release of USDA’s Prospective Plantings Report

corn rainbow
Photo courtesy of Barbara Hatton / National Corn Growers Association.

The USDA released two huge reports on Thursday. The first was the Quarterly U.S. Grain Stocks Report. The second was the Prospective Plantings Report.

Karl Setzer with Consus Ag Consulting says the USDA’s Prospective Plantings Report was bullish for corn futures. The May contract for Corn climbed $0.15 ¼ higher to end both the day and the week at $4.42 a bushel.

“The corn acreage numbers are what really got corn moving,” according to Setzer. “USDA and the Ag Outlook Forum had previously projected corn acres at 91 million. The average trade estimate was 91.8 million acres.  Plus, last year, U.S. farmers planted 94.6 million acres of corn. However, the USDA’s data from Thursday’s report was 90.04 million, so well below what the trade was expecting and well below last year. That really got the market moving—especially with the traders heavily short that corn complex. We’re still 250,000 contracts short by the managed money crowd, so that data alone is what really caused corn to rally.”

With the grain markets closed on Friday, March 29 to commemorate the Good Friday and Easter holidays, Setzer says it is possible that corn futures will continue their rally on Monday and through the first week of April.

“Next week when we get back, I wouldn’t be too surprised if we don’t see a little bit of risk premium added to this market,” says Setzer. “We’ll see whether we remain dry across several portions of the United States—especially the key growing areas. Forecasts are bringing precipitation, but it’s not huge volumes of rainfall. I think we start to see corn prices on the rise. I’m not saying we go to $6.00 or $7.00 a bushel, but perhaps back up to that $5.00 a bushel mark could definitely be a possibility.”

Here in Indiana, farmers intend to plant less corn and more soybeans compared to last year, according to Nathanial Warenski, State Statistician with the USDA.

Acres intended for corn in Indiana are 5.10 million acres, down 6 percent from last year. Indiana producers intended to plant 5.75 million acres of soybeans, up 5 percent from last year. The winter wheat acreage seeded last fall for harvest in 2024 is estimated at 350,000 acres, down 14 percent from the crop seeded in 2022. Hay acres intended for dry hay harvest, at 550,000 acres, is up 4 percent from last year.

Click below to hear C.J. Miller’s full conversation with Karl Setzer from Consus Ag Consulting, as Setzer also reviews the soybean and wheat acreage and stocks numbers from the USDA’s Reports—and reviews the factors that led to higher cattle and hog prices on Thursday.


Click HERE for more information about Consus Ag Consulting.




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