Thursday’s Prospective Planting report could be a bear for new crop corn prices.

“Chicago corn futures prices for the September 2011 contract have lost about 10 cents per bushel on the week and are currently trading near $6.34,” said Scott Stiles, Extension economist-risk management for the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, on Wednesday. “Thursday’s USDA Prospective Plantings report could be bearish for new crop corn prices.”

Last month, USDA indicated that 2011 U.S. corn acreage would increase to 92 million acres, up from the 88.2 million planted in 2010.  

“Private analysts anticipate that Thursday’s USDA report will provide an acreage estimate in the range of 90.4 to 93.0 million acres with an average guess of 91.8 million,” Stiles said. “There is little doubt that corn acreage will increase.”

With U.S. ending stocks projected to be at 15-year lows by the end of August, the futures market has tried to provide an incentive for growers to plant more corn in 2011 to rebuild inventories.

“A combination of increased acreage and favorable weather could cap the corn price rally that started in mid-2010.”

In Monday’s weekly Crop Progress report, USDA estimated that Arkansas’ 2011 corn planting pace is near 27 percent. This compares with 19 percent in 2010 and the five-year average pace of 26 percent.

“Corn planting had been progressing rapidly with the warm and dry weather,” said Jason Kelley, associate professor-wheat and feed grains for the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture.

“We have producers who are done planting corn and producers who have not started yet because it is still early in the season,” Kelley said. “Many areas did get rain over the last few days which has (sometimes) slowed planting. But growers in dry areas are welcoming the water.”

For more information on corn production, contact your county Extension office or visit www.uaex.edu.