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USDA releases parts of long-term farm projections

By Heather Chapman • Dec 4, 2017 at 8:00 AM

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released selected parts of its projections of production, consumption, and prices for major U.S. crops and livestock for the coming decade.

It stressed in a press release that the figures are not forecasts, but a "conditional long-run scenario" that assumes normal weather and yields with no change in U.S. farm policy. The complete report will be released in February 2018.

Some highlights from the report:

Overall corn acres are projected to fall from 94 million in 2016-2017 to 87.5 million planted in 2027-28, but the yield and price per bushel is expected to rise from 174.6 bushels per acre at $3.36 in 2016-2017 to 191.5 bushels per acre at $3.60 in 2027-2028. Net returns are projected to rise from $253 per acre in 2016-17 to $320 per acre in 2027-28.

Soybean acres are projected to increase from 83.4 million in 2016-17 to 91.5 million in 2027-28. Net returns may increase from $320 per acre in 2016-17 to $326 in 2027-28.

Wheat acreage is expected to fall from 50.1 million acres in 2016-17 to 48 million in 2027-28, with decreasing yields: from 52.7 bushels per acre in 2016-17 to 50.9 bushels per acre in 2027-28. The price for wheat is predicted to rise from $3.89 per bushel in 2016-17 to $5.20 per bushel in 2027-28. Net returns are projected to rise from $89 per acre in 2016-17 to $132 per acre in 2027-28.

Rice acres could fall from 3.1 million in 2016-17 to 2.9 million in 2027-28, but yields are projected to rise from 7,237 pounds per acre in 2016-17 to 7,996 pounds per acre in 2027-28, with average price per hundredweight rising from $10.40 in 2016-17 to $13.10 in 2027-28. Net returns are projected to rise from $186 per acre in 2016-17 to $408 per acre in 2027-28.

Barley may become less profitable, with projected net returns falling from $216 per acre in 2016-2017 to $210 in 2027-2028.

Sorghum may also become less profitable, with projected net returns falling from $82 per acre in 2016-17 to $79 in 2027-28.

Upland cotton plantings are projected to rise from 9.9 million acres in 2016-17 to 11.4 million in 2027-28, while the yield may rise from 855 pounds per acre in 2016-17 to 899 in 2027-28. The price per pound is projected to rise from 68 cents in 2016-2017 to 72 cents in 2027-28. Net return per acre is projected to rise from $180 in 2016-17 to $206 in 2027-28.

Sugar projections were made for both sugar beets and sugar cane. Sugar-beet acres may decrease from 1.16 million in 2016-17 to 1.09 million in 2027-28, with a slightly increasing yield per acre during that time frame. Sugar-cane acres may increase from 853,000 in 2016-17 to 916,000 in 2027-28.

Total meat consumption by Americans is projected to rise from 214.6 pounds per person in 2016 to 221.5 pounds in 2027. Within that total, red-meat consumption is expected to rise slightly more than poultry consumption.

Total dairy cows are projected to rise from 9.3 million in 2016 to 9.5 million in 2027, with pounds of milk produced per cow expected to rise from 22,775 pounds in 2016 to 26,205 pounds in 2027.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Rural Blog is a digest of events, trends, issues, ideas and journalism from and about rural America, by the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, based at the University of Kentucky. Ssend news and knowledge you think would be useful to al.cross@uky.edu.

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