U-S Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue got an earful this week at Farmfest, not only about the Trump administration’s trade war with China, but also from farmers who say this spring’s “planted acres estimate” pushed corn prices down. The audience cheered a farmer who told Perdue, “It took our weather rally, that fundamental rally, away from the markets that we desperately needed, at a time during the spring when we wanted to empty our bins, get ready for the upcoming harvest and pay our bills.”
Perdue responded there’s no conspiracy in setting planted acres estimates. “Many people think that it’s done there for a reason, for market,” ne says. “Nothing could be further from the truth. The facts are the facts and the data is the data.”
The USDA comes out on March 31st with its Prospective Plantings report. Then at the end of June, they use survey data to update their planting expectations. Farmers were upset that USDA still had corn pegged at over 90 million acres, despite the widespread struggles to get the crop planted this spring. The bigger-than-expected acreage was negative to the corn market and sent prices lower. The USDA did re-survey producers, something they don’t usually do, but did this year because of all the prevented planting.