Will Prevented Planting Acres Spring a Surprise?

by David Widmar

There has been a lot of talk about Spring planting progress and yield concerns in light of cool, wet May weather. Further speculation about the 2017 crop has been fueled by media reports of higher than normal replant acres. While there is little doubt the weather has resulted in reduced yield potential for some, it’s likely too early to understand what the overall, national impacts might be. While yields are important, an often overlooked weather impact is prevented plantings; acres that were intended for planting but never happened. This week’s post take a look at historic prevented planting acres and considers the impact of a swing in these acres. Continue reading

Two Corn Yield Myths in 2017

by David A. Widmar

Large yields and growing grain stocks have been a driving force of commodity markets in recent years. Given the multi-year pressure on commodity prices, the annual question of ‘how big will the crop be’ seems to be even more relevant this year. While there is a lot of growing season – and planting – that remains, speculation began months ago. This week’s posts looks at two myths we’ve heard in recent months about yields and the 2017 corn crop. Continue reading

What if CRP Acres Increased?

ag trends. agricultural economic insights

by David A. Widmar

The Conservation Reserve Program (or CRP) has been in the news lately as members of Congress have called for an increase in acres. This was no surprise to us as we’ve previously written about trends in the CRP program and noted that conditions seem ripe for an expansion (here and here). Furthermore, former Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack was quoted last year saying Congress would likely face pressure to “…rethink the cap on CRP.”

Given the latest CRP conversation, this week’s post takes an updated look at CRP trends and walks through a simple thought experiment to provide insights on what a reduction in U.S. crop production acres might look like. Continue reading