Thanks to Our Members - FBN® Outperforms Analysts on Acreage Estimates

Kevin McNew

05 July 2022

Another big USDA report, and another moment where many commodity analysts were caught off guard about acreage estimates. 

Heading into the June Acreage report, traders collectively believed USDA might increase corn acres by 400,000 from USDA’s 89.5 million estimate in March. Conversely, the trade expected a modest decline from USDA’s March soybean estimate of 91.0 million to 90.5 million in June. 

Ahead of USDA’s June 30th report, FBN released its own forecasts on June 27th —  based on member contributed data — which told a much different story. Namely, soybean acres were likely to fall much more aggressively than the trade expected, and our peg was at 89.0 million acres — a full 1.5 million acres less than the average of analysts. Indeed, USDA’s June soy acreage forecast at 88.3 million acres was a shock to the trade but not to FBN’s farmers who had read the report and were prepared for a bullish soy estimate. 

For corn, USDA was mostly where the trade expected at 89.9 million acres, and although FBN was on the high side of the trade at 90.4 million acres, we felt the bullish bean / bearish corn story warranted corn pricing action ahead of the report. On June 28, 2022, FBN issued sales recs at $6.60 Dec corn futures ahead of the report, and with current post-report values of $6.20 this has seemed like a prudent course of action.

Key analysts' expectations vs. USDA's June 2022 Acreage

Now two years in as a forecasting group, FBN has demonstrated its proven accuracy around key acreage reports. This is a result of a large number of FBN farmers participating in the surveys, which leads to actionable insights and enhancement of our member’s marketing abilities. 

The table below illustrates forecasting accuracies for corn and soybeans of various analysts for the last four acreage reports during which FBN has used member surveys to provide forecasts. Compared to the shown analysts, FBN has achieved a much lower forecasting error during this period with an average error of only 1 million acres. That is 30% better than the next best forecaster, and well below most analysts —  which have substantially larger errors of 1.8 to 2.5 million acres. We believe this illustrates the power and uniqueness of FBN’s crowdsourced data approach for using member data to improve marketing outcomes.

Corn and soy acreage forecast error, 2021-2022

Source: FBN/Reuters/USDA

FBN’s June 2022 Performance on Other Crops

Crop

FBN

USDA

Avg Analyst (Range)

Spring Wheat

11.4

11.1

10.8 (10.4-11.5)

Durum

1.8

2.0

1.8 (1.7-2.0)

Cotton

12.4

12.5

12.2 (11.0-12.7)

Sorghum

6.6

6.3

6.5 (6.3-6.8)

Rice

2.42

2.34

2.45 (2.25-2.6)

Source: FBN/Reuters/USDA

What it means for the farmer

Survey participation is key.  If you were a respondent, thank you. With the report in your hands ahead of others, you were set up to make key marketing decisions before USDA’s release. 


FBN Market Advisory services are offered by FBN BR LLC, dba FBN Brokerage, FBN BR and FBN Market Advisory - NFA ID: 0508695

Disclaimer: The views and opinions are solely those of the author as of the date of publication, are subject to change at any time due to market or economic conditions, will not be updated or supplemented after the date hereof and may not necessarily come to pass. The views and opinions expressed herein do not reflect those of all personnel at FBN BR LLC (FBN) or the views of the Farmer's Business Network Inc. as a whole. FBN makes no representations, warranties, or guarantees as to this content.

Any charts and graphs provided are for illustrative purposes only. Any performance quoted represents past performance. Past performance does not guarantee future results. All investments involve risks, including the possible loss of principal.

Commodity trading, including futures, hedging and speculating, involves substantial risk of loss and may not be suitable for everyone. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. All information, publications, and reports, including this specific material, used and distributed by FBN BR LLC shall be construed as a solicitation. The information and data provided comes from sources believed to be reliable but FBN BR LLC does not guarantee its accuracy or completeness. 

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Copyright © 2014-2022 Farmer's Business Network, Inc. The sprout logo, "Farmers Business Network," "FBN," and "Farmers First" are registered trademarks of Farmer's Business Network, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Kevin McNew

05 July 2022

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