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Corn Declines as U.S. Planting May Rise; Soy, Wheat Drop

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March 22 (Bloomberg) -- Corn futures fell, snapping the longest rally in two months, as U.S. farmers prepare to seed the most acres since the 1930s. Soybeans also dropped as seeding may increase, while wheat gained.

U.S. growers may plant 97.339 million acres of corn, the most since 1936, according to the average estimate of 32 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Soybean acreage may climb to a record, and wheat seeding will increase to a four-year high, the survey showed. The Department of Agriculture is scheduled to release its estimates on March 28 following a national survey.

“The expectation is certainly for good acreage for row crops,” said Michael Pitts, a commodity sales director at National Australia Bank Ltd. “The report on March 28 is going to be the market driver for the next few weeks.”

Corn futures for May delivery dropped 0.9 percent to settle at $7.2625 a bushel at 2 p.m. on the Chicago Board of Trade. The price rose in the previous six sessions, the longest rally since mid-January.

Soybean futures for May delivery fell 0.6 percent to $14.405 a bushel in Chicago. The price this week gained 1 percent.

Wheat futures for May delivery rose 0.1 percent to $7.2975 a bushel on the CBOT after declining as much as 1.8 percent. The price added 0.9 percent this week.

Estimated soybean planting may rise 1.1 percent from the USDA’s February forecast to a record 78.351 million acres, according to the Bloomberg survey. Spring-wheat seeding is expected to gain 0.8 percent to 12.39 million acres from a year earlier, according to the analysts.

Today, Informa Economics Ltd., a Memphis, Tennessee-based research company, forecast soybean planting at 78.457 million acres and corn seeding at 97.753 million.

“All the new-crop numbers are going to be bearish,” Jamey Kohake, a broker and branch manager at Paragon Investments in Silver Lake, Kansas, said in a telephone interview.

Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, followed by soybeans, hay and wheat, USDA data show.

To contact the reporters on this story: Tony C. Dreibus in Chicago at tdreibus@bloomberg.net; Phoebe Sedgman in Melbourne at psedgman2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net

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