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USDA Corn and Soybean Crop Report Highlights



The USDA Crop Report issued on Aug. 11 came in with a smaller-than-expected crop production estimate for the 2011 corn crop in the U.S.; however, it would still be the third largest U.S. corn crop in history, just below the record 2009 total corn production of 13.1 billion bushels. Based on Aug. 1 conditions, USDA is estimating the 2011 corn crop at almost 12.9 billion bushels, which is an increase of about 4% above the 2010 U.S. corn production. Total harvested corn acreage in the U.S. for 2010 is estimated at 84.4 million acres, compared to 81.4 million acres in 2010.

The U.S. corn carryover for 2011-2012 is now estimated at 714 million bushels, down 156 million bushels, or 18%, from the July USDA estimate. Estimates for corn usage in 2011-2012 for feed and ethanol were also reduced, which helped offset some of the reduced production estimates. The U.S. corn stocks-to-use ratio now stands at 5.4%, which is the second tightest ratio on record – trailing only 1995-1996 – and will likely provide continued strength to corn markets.

USDA is now projecting a national average corn yield of 153.0 bu./acre, just above the 2010 U.S. corn yield of 152.8 bu. The projected corn yield in the August report was lowered by 5.7 bu./acre compared to the July report due to unusually high temperatures and below-average precipitation across much of the Corn Belt during July.  

Minnesota’s average corn yield for 2011 is pegged at 166 bu./acre by USDA, which compares to the record average corn yield of 177 bu. in 2010 and 174 bu. in 2009. USDA is projecting Iowa’s average corn yield at 177 bu./acre for 2011, which is up considerably compared to the 2010 average corn yield of 165 bu. The 2011 USDA corn yield estimates for the other major corn-producing states are Illinois at 170 bu., up significantly from 157 bu. in 2010; Indiana at 150 bu., down from 157 bu. in 2010; and Nebraska at 166 bu., which is the same as 2010.


The USDA report on Aug. 11 indicates a much lower level of soybean production in the U.S. in 2011, compared to 2010 production levels. USDA is estimating 2011 total soybean production at 3.05 billion bushels in the U.S. – approximately 8% below the 2010 total U.S. soybean production. USDA estimated total 2011 harvested soybean acreage at 73.8 million acres, compared to 76.6 million acres in 2010. USDA now projects that soybean ending stocks for 2011-2012 will decline compared to the current year, due to expected reductions in soybean production in 2011, and the continued strong export demand. The soybean stocks-to-use ratio is now estimated at below 5%, which could trigger further strength in the soybean market in the coming months.

The U.S. average soybean yield for 2011 is estimated at 41.4 bu./acre, down from 43.5 bu. in 2010, and below the record U.S. soybean yield of 44.0 bu. in 2009. Soybean yields in 2011 are expected to decrease in most major soybean-producing states except Iowa, where the projected 2011 yield is bu./acre, compared to 51 bu. in 2010. USDA is estimating Minnesota’s 2011 soybean yield at 40 bu./acre, which is a significant drop from the 2010 average soybean yield of 45 bu. Other projected 2011 soybean yields are Illinois at 48 bu., Indiana at 43 bu., Nebraska at 52 bu. and South Dakota at 38 bu./acre.


Editor’s note: Kent Thiesse is a former University of Minnesota Extension educator and now is Vice President of MinnStar Bank, Lake Crystal, MN. You can contact him at 507-726-2137 or via e-mail at

TAGS: Soybean Corn
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