There was a lot of anticipation leading into August 12 USDA Crop Report, due to the very favorable crop conditions that existed in many areas of the U.S. Major corn and soybean producing states, such as Iowa, Illinois and Indiana, have had nearly ideal growing conditions throughout much of the 2014 crop year. Some portions of Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin were severely impacted by very late planting and record rainfall amounts in June, which lead to a significant amount of prevented planted and drowned out crop acres in certain areas. Much of this same region is now dealing with crop maturity concerns, due to very cool temperatures throughout most of the Summer.
The USDA Crop Report issued on August 12 estimated the 2014 total U.S. corn production to be just over 14.0 billion bushels, which would be new corn production record. This would be a slight increase from the 2013 production level of 13.9 billion bushels, and compares to 10.8 billion bushels in 2012, 12.3 billion bushels in 2011, and 13.1 billion bushels in 2009. Based on August 1 conditions, USDA is estimating total harvested corn acreage in the U.S. for 2014 at 83.3 million acres, which is unchanged from July USDA estimates, but is down considerably from the 2013 level of 87.7 million harvested corn acres. Some experts feel that the total number of harvested corn acres in 2014 may decline due to the large amount of prevented planted acres in Minnesota and surrounding states.
In the August 12 Crop Report, USDA projected a new record national average corn yield of 167.4 bushels per acre in 2014, which is up considerably from the national corn yield of 158.8 bushels per acre in 2013. Previous national average corn yields were 123.4 bushels per acre in the drought-year of 2012, 147.2 bushels per acre in 2011 and 152.8 bushels per acre in 2010. USDA increased the expected national average corn yield by 2.1 bushels per acre from the July estimates, reflecting the almost ideal mid-Summer growing conditions in many areas of the Corn Belt.
USDA is projecting Minnesota’s 2014 average corn yield at 168 bushels per acre, which compares to 160 bushels per acre in 2013, 165 bushels per acre in 2012, and 156 bushels per acre in 2011. The estimated 2014 state corn yield is still well below the record average corn yield in Minnesota of 177 bushels per acre in 2010, or the 174 bushels per acre in 2009. USDA is now projecting Iowa’s 2014 average corn yield at 185 bushels per acre, which compares to 165 bushels per acre in 2013, the drought-reduced yield of 137 bushels per acre in 2012, and 172 bushels per acre in 2011.
The 2014 USDA corn yield estimates for the other major corn producing States are Illinois at 188 bushels per acre, compared to 178 bushels per acre in 2013; Indiana at 179 bushels per acre, compared to 177 bushels per acre in 2013; Nebraska at 173 bushels per acre, compared to 170 bushels per acre in 2013, and South Dakota at 139 bushels per acre, compared to 138 bushels per acre in 2013. Many of these states have benefited from very favorable growing conditions in 2014.
The USDA Report on August 12 estimated total 2014 U.S. soybean production at 3.82 billion bushels, which would be the largest in history. The projected 2014 U.S. soybean production is approximately 16 percent above the 2013 total production level of 3.29 billion bushels, and is well above the 2012 drought-reduced soybean production of 3.01 billion bushels. USDA is now estimating total 2014 harvested soybean acreage at 84.1 million acres, which compares to 75.9 million acres in 2013.
The U.S. average soybean yield for 2014 is estimated at 45.4 bushels per acre, which up from 43.3 bushels per acre in 2013, and would be a new record U.S. soybean yield. Minnesota’s 2014 average soybean yield is estimated at 42 bushels per acre, compared to 41 bushels per acre last year, and a record yield of 45 bushels per acre in 2010. Other projected 2014 yields in major soybean producing States include Iowa at 50 bushels per acre, compared to 44.5 bushels per acre in 2013; Illinois at 54 bushels per acre, compared to 49 bushels per acre in 2013; Indiana at 51 bushels per acre, which is the same yield as 2013; Nebraska at 52 bushels per acre, compared to 53.5 bushels per acre in 2013; and South Dakota at 40 bushels per acre, which is the same yield as 2013.
The updated USDA World Supply and Demand Estimates (WADSE) were also released on August 12. The Report indicated record U.S. corn production in 2014, along with minor adjustments in the beginning corn stocks and expected corn usage in 2014-15, resulting in projected corn ending stocks at the end of the 2014-15 marketing year of 1.81 billion bushels. This was a slight increase from the July estimate; however, this represents a significant increase from the corn ending stocks of 1.18 billion bushels for the 2013-14 marketing year. USDA is projecting an average on-farm corn price for the 2014-15 marketing year, which runs from September 1, 2014, through August 31, 2015, in a range of $3.55 to $4.25 per bushel, with an average expected price of $3.90 per bushel. This compares to 12-month national average prices of $4.45 per bushel for 2013-14, and $6.89 per bushel for 2012-13.
The recent WADSE estimates are projecting record U.S. soybean production in 2014, with only minor adjustments in expected soybean usage, resulting in estimated 2014-15 soybean ending stocks at 430 million bushels, which would be the highest in many years. The projected 2014-15 soybean ending stocks are about 3 times higher than the 2013-14 ending stocks of 140 million bushels. USDA is now projecting an average on-farm soybean price for the 2014-15 marketing year in a range of $9.35 to $11.35 per bushel, with an average expected price of $10.35 per bushel. This compares to 12-month national average prices of $13.00 per bushel for 2013-14, and $14.40 per bushel for 2012-13.