Iowa Public Television

 

Planting ahead of schedule; USDA projects ample crops

posted on May 12, 2000


FOR RURAL AMERICANS INTEREST RATES NOT ONLY AFFECT THE COST OF BORROWING, BUT ALSO THE STRENGTH OF THE DOLLAR. A STRONG DOLLAR MAKES AMERICAN EXPORTS LIKE FARM COMMODITIES MORE EXPENSIVE TO FOREIGN BUYERS.

SUCH ARE THE MACRO ECONOMIC FORCES IN PLAY AS FARMERS TAKE THEIR ANNUAL LEAP OF FAITH.

ACROSS THE NATION SPRING PLANTING IS NEARING COMPLETION WELL AHEAD OF SCHEDULE. AT THE BEGINNING OF THE WEEK 78% OF THE U.S. CORN CROP HAD BEEN PLANTED, AND A GOOD START HAD BEEN MADE ON SOYBEAN ACRES. 34% OF THE NATION'S MAJOR OILSEED CROP HAD BEEN PLANTED. THIRTY SEVEN PERCENT OF THE U.S. COTTON CROP HAS BEEN PLANTED.

AT WEEK'S END THE MARKET GOT ITS FIRST GLIMPSE OF GOVERNMENT PROJECTIONS FOR BOTH OUTPUT AND DEMAND FOR THIS YEAR'S CROP.

THE BIG QUESTION REMAINS HOW LARGE CROPS WILL BE THIS YEAR. THE GOVERNMENT'S FIRST GUESS INDICATES MOST CROPS WILL BE AMPLE.

THE 2000 WINTER WHEAT HARVEST, WHICH IS ABOUT TO BEGIN IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE1.65 BILLION BUSHELS. THE ESTIMATE IS LARGER THAN MANY EXPECTED BUT STILL THREE PERCENT SMALLER THAN LAST YEAR'S. THE CORN CROP IS PROJECTED TO PRODUCE 9.74 BILLION BUSHELS.

THAT WOULD BE THE THIRD LARGEST ON RECORD. AND THE GOVERNMENT THINKS FARMERS, LURED BY ATTRACTIVE FEDERAL PRICE SUPPORTS, WILL PRODUCE A SOYBEAN CROP APPROACHING THREE BILLION BUSHELS.THAT WOULD BE 12 PERCENT GREATER THAN LAST YEAR'S

THE USDA PROJECTS THE 2000 COTTON CROP WILL PRODUCE 19 MILLION BALES, THE LARGEST OUTPUT SINCE 1994.

Tags: agriculture crops news USDA