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NAPERVILLE, (Ill.): Although not totally unexpected, corn bulls were bummed on Thursday to see the sizable supply numbers in the US Department of Agriculture’s annual outlook for the upcoming US crop year.

But they could take some solace in the fact that both acreage and yield numbers - the latter of which is very meaty on the part of the government - are far from settled.

Recent price trends imply better profitability for US farmers to plant corn over soybeans this year, and both analysts and USDA agree corn acres will rise above the year-ago levels.

USDA’s 91 million corn acres were nearly identical to the trade’s 90.9 million and above last year’s 88.6 million.

USDA has not yet surveyed farmers for planting intentions, which it will start doing next week, and the results published at the end of March have been tough to predict in recent years.

I polled Twitter on Wednesday for the most likely surprise in this year’s intentions, offering choices of corn acres high or low or soybean acres high or low.

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