It's fortunate for farmers that world demand could sustain markets for biotech, as well as conventional crops. And as the latest USDA numbers issued this week point out, there was no shortage of supply to meet that demand.
USDA placed soft red winter wheat seeding at just 6.6 million acres, well below trade guesses and some 19 percent less than last year's acreage. Hard red winter wheat seeding also was trimmed.
While the reduced acreage was seen as friendly to prices in the short-term, any long-term gains will be muted by increased world ending-stocks.
The corn numbers were not as positive, with USDA putting the final 2004 production total at 11.807 billion bushels. That's 66 million bushels higher than the December estimate.
In addition, domestic and world ending-stocks were raised. The domestic carryout of 9.45 billion bushels was the highest December total since 1987.
In soybeans, both the final 2004 production total and the estimate for U.S. ending-stocks were trimmed slightly. Even with the reduction, USDA says farmers last fall harvested a record crop of 3.141 billion bushels.
On the global stage, world ending-stocks of soybeans were raised slightly, while the forecast for a record South American harvest was left unchanged.