Gro’s US Planting Intentions Model: Setting the Stage for the Year’s Crop Outlook

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What US farmers plant and the number of acres devoted to a crop each season drive crop supplies and prices worldwide. Farmers consider prices, input costs, historical demand, weather, crop insurance guarantees, the previous season’s ending stocks, and the farmers’ own individual crop rotation practices when making planting decisions. 

Because farmers’ planting decisions play a large role in determining the outlook for crops, we have created the Gro US Planting Intentions Model. This model provides users with early insight into upcoming crop supply for corn, soybeans, wheat, and cotton for the new crop year, ahead of the US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) official Prospective Plantings estimates. 

Unlike the USDA’s survey-based estimates, which typically arrive on March 31, Gro’s Planting Intentions Model starts forecasting US farmers’ planting intentions in early February. The model’s final forecast of planting intentions is available in early March.

To accurately predict farmers’ planting intentions ahead of the USDA’s official estimates, the Gro US Planting Intentions Model draws on Gro platform datasets, including local new crop cash prices, historical planted area, costs and profitability data, and futures prices. 

We have recently improved and updated our US Planting Intentions Models for wheat and cotton. With the help of machine-learning techniques, we are able to more accurately predict planting intentions for these crops by identifying non-linear relationships from past data and providing models that generalize those relationships to forecast future observations. These models are not sensitive to outliers, meaning that they are not skewed by extremely large or small values in past data.

This year, because of tight global crop supplies and high fertilizer costs — compounded by the Russia-Ukraine conflict — and Brazil’s and Argentina’s La Niña-impacted crops, anticipating US production prospects is as important as ever.

Early insight into producers’ planting intentions can benefit every market participant in a crop’s supply chain. Agricultural input companies, for example, can use Gro’s state-level US Planting Intentions forecasts to predict regional demand for seeds, fertilizers, crop protection supplies, and machinery. 

As the growing season progresses, US corn, soybean, and wheat crops can be monitored using Gro’s Yield Forecast Models. From early May, Gro users can track Gro’s Yield Forecast Models for US corn and soybeans at district, state, and national levels. Gro’s US Winter Wheat Yield Forecast Model has been running since September. The USDA does not update its US production estimates for corn and soybeans until August. 

Our US Planting Intentions Model is available to Gro Premium subscribers. Contact Gro’s Sales team to schedule a demo. To learn more, watch our free webinar on “What Will Farmers Plant in 2022?” here

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