USDA-NASS released 2020 Acreage Intentions & March 1 stocks of grain today. Corn was the big surprise with USA total intended acres of 97 million, well above the average trade guess of 94.3 million while soybeans came in at 83.5 million, well below the average trade guess of 85 million. Wheat acres were largely in line with expectation. March 1 quarterly stocks of corn were below expectations reflecting higher feed demand while wheat and bean stocks were in line with expectations.

It is important to remember that NASS used surveys from the first week of March to compile the data for this report, before the sell-off in energy prices and the coronavirus meltdown. De’20 corn futures are down about 30 cents from early March while Nov’20 beans are off about 45 cents. Interestingly, new crop spring wheat futures have completely retraced the coronavirus break and back to where they were the first week of March. Declining ethanol demand and its downward pressure on corn futures (and basis) may curb some of the enthusiasm for expanding corn acres in 2020.