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USDA increases corn acreage, ending stocks

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today (Friday) released its Grain Stocks and Prospective Plantings reports. Brian Grossman, market strategist with Zaner Ag Hedge, says corn futures were caught off guard by acreage estimates.

“Corn acreage came in high – 98.2 million compared to 89.1 last year. (That is) a huge increase on planting intentions. “But keep in mind…planting intentions. This report was surveyed slightly and during the flooding. A lot of things can change, as it always does,” Grossman said.

Nearby front month contracts reacted negatively, closing 17 ½ cents lower.

Grossman says he has a bone to pick with USDA and their report findings.

“My one rant against the USDA is they give us Quarterly Grain Stocks, but don’t give us how the number came about until later next month, when the WASDE report is released. If we knew this was a miss on feed and residual, we’d have a better idea (as to) where the market was off, and start looking to what changes might come,” Grossman said.

USDA’s Grain Stocks report showed increased ending stocks for corn, soybeans and wheat. Report findings also indicated producers moved a lot of soybeans off-farm over the winter months.

Grossman encourages producers to not take this report “to heart.”

“We’ve had a lot of things change in the last couple of weeks,” Grossman said. “We have a major weather situation staring at us, and I remain optimistic moving forward that we’ll get a decent marketing opportunity.”