corn planting, input costs

Bullish longs-shots for the corn market

Will the planted corn acres be lower or higher than projected?

Corn bears are pointing to disappointing weekly export sales data and thoughts that U.S. planted corn acres might actually be higher than many in the trade are currently forecasting. I'm not in this camp and actually think U.S. planted corn acres will ultimately be lower than the trade is currently forecasting.

Not only was the rally in soybean prices influential in reducing corn acres, but I suspect tighter lending is also factoring into the equation. I have to imagine we will all be much smarter later this afternoon after the USDA releases their current estimate. Bottom-line, a planted acreage number much higher than 90 million will add to the already burdensome balance sheet and put more pressure on the development of a U.S. weather story.

Even 88 to 89 million corn acres are arguably way too many if we are going to harvest another +170 bushel yield. I continue to believe our bullish bets on corn, wheat and soybeans still hinge on long-shots from "weather" and "Washington." As we've learned many times in the past, these are two extremely difficult horses to bet on. I will continue to pay close attention to the acreage estimate released March 31, Brazil's forecast, the extended forecast here in the U.S., and headlines out of Washington and how it is digested by the macro market bulls.

Keep in mind several sources now believe the current USDA estimate for Brazil is some 3 to 5 MMTs too conservative and still needs to be raised aggressively higher.  Lots of moving parts...

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