While total 2012-13 U.S. crop receipts are forecast to slip by 4%, total planted acreage is expected to be up by 3.6% for the year, according to the USDA.

The outlook for crop receipts for the marketing year ahead indicates a falloff to $122,402 million vs. $126,977 million in 2011-12, which was up 11% compared with 2010-11. USDA is anticipating planting of corn acreage will increase to 94 million acres in 2012-13 vs. 91.9 million in the previous year. Soybean acreage is expected to be flat for the year at 75 million acres vs. 2011-12.

Wheat acreage is forecast to increase to 58 million compared with 54.4 million for the previous marketing year. The outlook for total planted acreage for the year is 227 million acres, up 3.6% year-over-year.

According to Ann Duignan, the current picture for crop receipts and planted acreage remains a positive for ag equipment sales for the remainder of 2012.

"Using these forecasts, our model suggests 2012-13 crop cash receipts will be $128.9 billion, down 3% from 2011-12 but still above 2010-11," Duignan said in a February 27 note.

"Major-crop acreage is expected to increase 4%, a positive for ag machinery sales given these crops are machine-intensive. Meanwhile, U.S. production of meat and poultry is expected to decline in calendar year 2012, supporting prices in the livestock sector; and lower corn prices are expected to increase the use of corn for feed.

"Overall, the data released points to continued growth in the machinery-intensive grain crops and a relatively robust year for U.S. farmers. As such, we continue to favor the agricultural equipment space," says Duignan.