Could The USDA Have A Surprise In Store?

Tomorrow's USDA report is expected to show US soybean acres rising to 78.3 million according to the average trade guess, that's 2.3 million more than their original March estimate.

But the report could throw up a surprise according to Lanworth Inc., a company that uses satellite imagery to predict plantings.

Never heard of them? I hadn't until around a year or two ago, when I remember them coming out with what, at the time, seemed like a totally off-the-wall forecast for soybean plantings that went contrary to what the vast majority of the trade were predicting.

Subsequently, as I recall, their forecast was proven to be pretty much spot on, totally against what the usual suspects were saying.

They base their estimates on images and ground data for the top thirteen producing US soybean states which make up 80% of the nation's production.

For this season, Lanworth are predicting a US soybean area of 75.75 million hectares, a quarter of a million fall from the March report.

They're not a lone voice in the wilderness, the range of trade estimates covers a fairly wide area starting at 75.3 million, so somebody is also thinking along the same lines as Lanworth.

That someone is Alaron, the wholesale switch to soybeans "would mean tossing out expensive corn seed and fertilizers and repurchasing bean supplies. Not likely," tney say.