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Little Change in Corn, Soybean Production Seen


The grain trade is expecting to see only minor changes in USDA’s estimates of the U.S. corn and soybean crops when the agency releases its October Crop Production Report on Wednesday morning.

USDA is generally expected to raise its forecasts of U.S. corn and soybean yields slightly, but cut its estimates of harvested acreage due to high prevented planting claims and flooding along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.

Trade estimates of the U.S. corn crop average 12.492 billion bushels – just 5 million below USDA’s September estimate – and fall in a narrow range from 12.342 billion to 12.690 billion bushels, according to a survey of 23 analysts by Dow Jones Newswires.

Pre-report estimates of the soybean crop average 3.094 billion bushels, 9 million above USDA’s September estimate, in a range from 3.050 billion to 3.162 billion bushels.

Expectations for the U.S. corn yield average 148.9 bu./acre in a range from 147.2 to 150.9 bu., compared with USDA’s September estimate of 148.1 bu. and last year’s yield of 152.8.

Soybean yield expectations average 42.0 bu./acre in a range from 41.0 to 42.9 bu. compared with USDA’s September estimate of 41.8 bu. and last year’s yield of 43.5.

Brock Associates currently pegs the corn crop at 12.576 billion bushels on a national average yield of 149.0 bu./acre and estimates the soybean crop at 3.100 billion bushels on an average yield of 42.0 bu./acre.

We expect yields to be raised largely based on harvest reports from producers. While corn yields have been highly variable, in more cases than not, they have been better than producers expected.

Some very good soybean yields have been reported during the early part of the harvest, which should more than offset any impact on yields from the mid-September freeze that hit the upper Midwest.

Farm Service Administration data indicating large prevented planting claims in the Dakotas has had the trade looking for USDA to cut its estimates of corn and soybean acreage.

USDA cut its estimate of North Dakota’s harvested spring wheat area by 200,000 acres in the Small Grains Summary Report released on Sept. 30, pointing to possible cuts for corn and soybean acreage.

Taken together, the average trade estimates for production and yield imply harvested corn area of 83.89 million acres, down from USDA’s current estimate of 84.39 million, and suggest harvested soybean area of 73.66 million acres, down slightly from USDA’s current estimate of 73.82 million acres.


Editor’s note: Richard Brock, Corn & Soybean Digest's marketing editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.

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