There’s still plenty of corn and soybean harvest to go, but the question's already being asked about 2022: How many acres are going to be planted for each crop?

With that question there’s a full set of related questions. Will high input costs limit corn acres? Will crop protection supply concerns limit soybean acres? What about cotton with prices at 10-year highs? What about wheat, priced $2 per bushel better than corn? Not to mention oats, priced more than $1 better than corn.

IHS Markit (formerly Informa Economics) is already estimating 92.4 million acres of corn in 2022, down from this year but not as much as other analysts have suggested. Their lower corn estimate didn’t lead to a big soybean number, with a surprising figure of 87.3 million. This was considerably interesting, given their projection of 2.1 million additional wheat acres next year. Many of those could be spring wheat acres, given the fact that their futures price is approaching $10 per bushel.

The other interesting number came from the cotton estimate, which included 738,000 more acres than this year. With commodity prices holding strong, each crop is expected to compete in a race for acres.

“That cotton number caught me off guard, but more than that, the wheat number … when you look at next spring and summer’s wheat values, some guys will keep seeding wheat” (maybe not in Illinois but in other parts of the country), said Karl Setzer with AgriVisor.  He expects a lot of different numbers to show themselves between now and next Spring’s Prospective Plantings Report, and likely after that, too. “The thing is, with these inputs, you’ve got to think those will have an impact, especially in the fringe areas, that’s what I’m going to keep my eye on. I have a feeling that we’re underestimating that might take place.”

Even with higher costs for farmers in the next growing season, Setzer has his eyes also looking at new-crop 2022 futures prices. At around $5.25 per bushel for corn and more than $12.25 per bushel for next year’s new-crop soybeans, he says that’s a pretty good place to start, especially for uninsured bushels, to set a foundation for next year’s marketing plan.