USDA's 2029 agricultural projections show little farm price improvement

posted on Monday, November 4, 2019 in Current News

By Farm News Media

Farmers walking in the field

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USDA released its preliminary data today reviewing long-term supply, use, and, most importantly, long-term farm price projections for major U.S. crops and livestock producers.

The data will form the basis of USDA’s “Agricultural Projections to 2029” report, which will be released in February 2020. In a nutshell — expect more of the same when it comes to “Farm Prices” over the next 10 years for most major commodities.

CORN (Click here for grains projections)

USDA’s 2029-30 projections for planted and harvested acres remained relatively flat through the 10-year schedule. Planted acres peak in 2020-21 at 94.5 million planted acres, gradually declining to 88.5 million acres in the 2029-30 marketing year. Likewise, harvested acres peak in 2020-21 at 87.1 million acres, settling out at a projected 81.1 million acres in 2029-30.

Yields are projected to continue improving from the current 168.4 bushels per acre (bpa) to 196.5 bpa. Prices per bushel are actually projected to decline from the current year figure of $3.80 to a low of $3.45 in 2022-23 before struggling back to $3.60 per bushel in 2029-30.

SOYBEANS (Click here for grains projections)

USDA is projecting U.S. soybean planted acres to rebound significantly from the current 76.5 million acres to 84 million next year, and growing to 86 million acres by 2029-30. Harvested acres are projected to follow the same trend, settling out at 85.2 million acres in 2029-30.

Yields are projected to rebound as well from the current year figure of 46.9 bpa to 50.5 bpa next year, with slower growth for the remainder of the period to 55.5 bpa. Projected farm price per bushel is expected to drop from the current estimate of $9 to a low of $8.45 in 2021-22, climbing back to $9.05 by the 2029-30 marketing year.

WHEAT (Click here for grains projections)

Planted wheat acres are showing little change from the current 45.2 million acres, with a minor increase to 46.5 million acres in 2022-23, eventually trailing off to 45.5 million projected acres in 2029-30.

Wheat yields are projected to stay pretty close to the current 51.6 bpa — averaging 50 bpa through 2029-30. Price per bushels is projected to show improvement from the current $4.70 to $5.15 for the 2029-30 marketing year.

DAIRY (Click here for dairy projections)

The U.S. dairy industry appears poised for steady growth, based on USDA’s projections. Total cow numbers are expected to grow 2.1% from the current 9.33 million cows to 9.53 million head in 2029.

Meanwhile, production per cow is projected to improve 12.3% from 23,390 pounds to 26,270 pounds of annual production. As a result, total milk production is projected to grow 14.8% from 218.2 billion pounds to 250.4 billion pounds by 2029.

The all milk farm price shows minor but steady year-to-year improvement, increasing 7.3% from the current $18.4 per hundredweight (cwt.) to $19.75 in 2029. Nonfat dry milk shows the largest improvement, gaining 11.8% from $1.02 currently to $1.14 per pound in 2029.

BEEF (Click here for beef projections)

USDA projections show total U.S. beef production increasing 9.2% over the 10-year period from 27 billion pounds to 29.5 billion pounds in 2029. Exports are also projected to grow 10.4%, reaching 3.5 billion pounds in 2029.

Farm prices show little improvement, however, bumping from $114.50 per cwt. to a high of $121.64 in 2021, before showing a steady decline to $111.87 per cwt. in 2029 — a 2.4% drop for the 10-year period.

PORK (Click here for pork projections)

Export growth is the big news in pork. USDA projections show a whopping 61.1% increase from the current level of 6.58 billion pounds to 10.6 billion pounds by 2029. Total pork production meanwhile is projected to show a steady 16.4% growth from current figures of 27.6 billion pounds to 32.1 billion pounds by 2029.

Farm prices are projected to show little improvement, according to USDA, with the current market price of $53 per cwt. improving to $62 in 2020, before falling off sharply to $50.27 in 2021. USDA projects prices will rebound to $53.87 per cwt. by 2029 — a 1.69% improvement for the 10-year period.

The complete “USDA Agricultural Projections to 2029” report will be released next February and include a full discussion of the commodity supply and use projections, as well as projections for farm income and global commodity trade.

USDA’s long-term agricultural projections represent a departmental consensus on a 10-year representative scenario for the agricultural sector. They are a composite of model results and judgment-based analyses, prepared this past September and October.

USDA projections are intended to reflect a long-run scenario based on specific assumptions about macroeconomic conditions, policy, weather, and international developments, with no domestic or external shocks to global agricultural markets. The Agricultural Act of 2018 is assumed to remain in effect through the projection period.