A survey from Farm Futures shows the 2023 acreage battle is ongoing. The publication is predicting that expensive inputs will lead to a surge in wheat acres for the 2023 growing season.
Corn and soybean acres are expected about 2 percent this year, with corn estimated to bump up to 90 million acres and soybeans just below 89 million. However wheat is predicted to have the largest jump in acres after two consecutive years of production shortfalls.
Higher wheat prices last fall and higher fertilizer costs pushed more acres into winter wheat. However, there could be a surprise when it comes to the total number of corn and soybean acres. A surge in projected wheat acres and costly inputs could put a ceiling on any expansion of corn and soybean acres.
Farm Futures survey respondents indicated 34.9 million acres of winter wheat were sown last fall, up 1.6 million acres (5%) from last year. If realized, that acreage would be the biggest winter wheat crop sown since 2016 (Fall 2015).
Spring wheat acreage, which includes hard red spring, spring white, and durum wheat acres, will grow by nearly 1.5 million acres (12%) from last year to 13.948 million acres in 2023. If that forecast holds true, farmers will plant the largest spring wheat acreage since 2020 in the upcoming growing season.
The spring wheat acreage uptick should not come as a surprise to the markets – a cold and wet spring in 2022 meant that over 700,000 wheat acres in North Dakota and Minnesota were unable to be planted, according to Farm Service Agency prevent plant data. Plus, spring wheat crops withered in drought in 2021, so it is not surprising that Minneapolis futures prices are still trading nearly 6% higher than a year ago.
Total 2023 wheat acres are estimated at 48.8 million acres – a 3.1-million-acre (7%) increase from 2022. That will be the largest wheat crop planted in the U.S. since farmers planted 50.1 million wheat acres for the 2016 growing season.