USDA Acreage Numbers Don't Stack Up

There seems to be a lot of head scratching going on at the USDA's Annual Agricultural Outlook Forum.

They are pegging wheat acres 5m lower in 2009 at 58m acres. I don't think that anyone is particularly shocked by that, wheat plantings down around 8% on last year. It could have been more.

What is a surprise is only upping soybeans acres by 1.3m to 77m AND leaving corn acres unchanged at 86m.

So we've lost 5m acres of wheat and only gained 1.3m on beans, what's happened to the rest? I really don't see them being switched into cotton. Or were last years acres overestimated by 3.7m?

And if last years acres were overstated, that means that all the current stocks data is miles out too.

Why on earth would US farmers plant the same acres of corn as they did a year ago when crude was over $100/barrel? Are they stupid? The USDA seem to think so.

Or is it that the USDA don't know their arse from a hole in the ground?

I know where my money is going.

If there's anyone from the USD ARSE A reading this might help: Amazing Holes