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Honored Advisor

Corn acres will not go much higher???

Does production agriculture have enough confidence in our present international agriculture or our political DC bureaucracy to expand planted acres much farther than we presently are........??

I know that is not well worded, but my question is --- Are there issues that are limiting production expansion either in acres or yield??


1.   technology is not returning its cost? and maybe not improving yield... ie(can they handle a little wind?) joking

2.  Experimental gmo generates varieties faster than they can prove their worth or weakness, thus producers don't know for sure how good or bad the latest variety is??




Acres limitations

1.  Drought trims acres in the high plains probably of both corn and beans.  Wheat gains acres.

2.  Irrigation water continues to diminish gradually but most surely.





Do you see reasons not to expect the record planted acres that most surely will be projected???

What do you think ????....... It just doesn't feel like a few years ago.... I have serious doubts that Brazil can expand production as much as expected.  Some of what they are doing is just finally developing the infrastructure they needed 20 years ago...... 

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6 Replies
Honored Advisor

Re: Corn acres will not go much higher???

just visited with a mutual friend of ours SW that is in western South Dakota. 

He is middle of planting 6500 ac of corn. Has been wheat and sunflowers historically.

This years prices and crop insurance #'s make it pencil out quite well.

Also planting millet and 1000 ac milo.

Many of the fields out there are measured in miles.

I've been out there couple years ago. 1500 ac field is a small patch.

Many 4000+ acre single fields.

Some over 13000 ac no roads through them. 


They have a 6 ft full moisture profile. Got rained out over the noon hr there.

Dust bowl here

Senior Advisor

Re: I'm clearing land now, ....

I'm clearing land now, land that hasn't been worked in at least 70 years, spread lime this morning, already sold the corn for $5.60.  You know how good corn grows on 70-year-old sod, real good. It's not 6000 acres but it's more.

  You watch, at these prices, they're going to light up the Amazon this coming dry season like never before.  You'll be able to see it from space.

  Corn's going to get planted here for sure, count on it.


Re: Corn acres will not go much higher???

Hobby - Not sure who you are talking to in "Western SD" about huge corn farming, but it isn't going to count for much at all. I farm in Bon Homme County, in SSE SD. Last year our county raised 172 bu corn. "East" and "West" SD is determined by the Missouri River. "Western SD" is about 2/3 of the state, but there are only 4 counties west of the Missouri that raised 100bu corn or more last year and last year was a very good year weather-wise for SD. I set personal records on the three FSA farm numbers I work of 208 and 191 bushels in Bon Homme county, plus 185 on one quarter I farm in Charles Mix county.  

Gregory county raised 129 bu corn, Tripp county raised 118bu corn, Lyman county raised 113bu corn, and Fall River county raised an even 100 bu corn. Everyone else raised less that 100 bushel corn, with Meade county bringing up the rear at 45bu/ac. but still ahead of the 8 counties with no reported corn production at all.


Senior Advisor

Re: Corn acres will not go much higher???

US  281  seems  to  be  a  accurate  reminder  of  precipitation  shortfalls  on  the  sunset  side  - - -  

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Honored Advisor

Re: Corn acres will not go much higher???

Westerly of Faith

They are not needing big yield #s to turn a profit.

Two of the smaller deals would be quite profitable if it burnt up and no hauling was involved.

Till a couple years ago about the only corn out there was sweet corn in the gardens.

Two years ago when I was out there I saw just a few fields but they were setting new moisture records and the corn looked good.


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Honored Advisor

Re: Corn acres will not go much higher???

The envy I have had for years in that area is the winter cow killing snows.  They always seem to get enough snow to have a full profile in spring, but the ground is so good it seems to get hammered in July and August way before it moves east like a slow derecho to the heart of corn country....... which hasn't happened all that much.  2012 and maybe 20 a little.

But lets face it, it is not new ground..... It is trade off (best fsa payment crop choice area..... when you had two wheat insurance claims, switch to corn and collect a couple of those failures then back to another forage crop for a while.... It is corn because it isn't something else.... and maybe it is fallow ground half the time. 

Hobby's right though it builds countable acres (at the same time it should drop expected yield, but that won't happen in DC.)

Rick and Brazil's "environmentally friendly" breaking out of "wildlife habitat" ground is for real, but not going to amount to millions of acres in the US.  The other place that will get figured in is the  expired CRP land that came out in 2013-2016.  Best guesses have that at about 2.8 million acres, most of which are within a short drive of me in Sw ks.  I been watching that --- one full mile square just east of me that was bought and paid for more than twice over with CRP payments over 30 years--- grass was disced under this last winter.  That isn't going to corn.  Ks state law won't allow new irrigation wells in this area.  rational choice there will be wheat this fall with a $7+/bu price it will pay.

Thats the point for CRP acres, now there are better choices than the two high risk crops for the southern "high and dry" Plains.  Wheat and grain sorghum, for once, need more acres.  Asking and demanding more acres.  Right now the step child grain sorghum is commanding over a dollar premium to corn.  Wheat is also pricing above corn.

Both Hobby and Rick make the point ..... Greed hasn't gone away.... Land prices may be helping the financials of stressed farms (many are still) but the drought driven futures markets and hope for the future production will drive planters and we can call it greed if we want.  Four financially stressful years in the rear view mirror we hope.

But we are staring another slow start in the face.


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