Forrest Laws

November 10, 2016

2 Min Read
<p>Round cotton modules rest on a gin yard near Frogmore, La.</p>

The 2016 crops kept getting bigger in USDA’s November Crop Production Report. As expected, the National Agricultural Statistics Service raised its estimates for the major crops by 1 to 2 percent from a month earlier.

Although U.S. farmers suffered disastrous weather in the coastal states, overall favorable conditions for U.S. crops kept them building to grain bin- and warehouse-busting levels across the Midwest and the remainder of the South.

USDA’s NASS statisticians reported the 2016 corn crop would total 15.2 billion bushels, up 1 percent from the October forecast and 12 percent from 2015. Based on conditions on Nov. 1, U.S. yields are expected to average 175.3 bushels per acre, up 1.9 bushels from the October forecast and up 6.9 bushels from 2015.

“If realized, this will be the highest yield and production on record for the United States,” the National Agricultural Statistics Service said in the press release that accompanied the November Crop Production Report.

Soybean production is forecast at another record 4.36 billion bushels, up 2 percent from its October prediction and 11 percent from 2015. U.S. soybean yields are expected to average a record 52.5 bushels per acre, up 1.1 bushels from last month and 4.5 bushels from last year.

U.S. cotton producers are expected to harvest 16.2 million bales, up 1 percent from October and 25 percent from last year’s crop, the smallest since the payment-in-kind year of 1983. Upland cotton is predicted to reach 15.6 million bales and pima 562,000 bales.

The U.S. rice crop is forecast at 234.77 million hundredweight, up 22 percent from 2015. The biggest portion of the increase will occur in long grain rice where production is expected to increase from 133 million hundredweight to 176,109,000 hundredweight while medium grain could fall from 56,677,000 in 2015 to 55,519,000 this year.

Grain sorghum production also is expected to decline with growers harvesting 462,167,000 million bushels this year compared to 596,751,000 in 2015 when Chinese purchases pushed acreage significantly higher.

Peanut production is also expected to rise marginally with farmers harvesting 6,243,200 pounds in 2016 compared to 6,001,357 pounds in 2015.

Market reaction to the reports was muted due, in part, to the increased emphasis placed on the results from Tuesday’s elections compared to slight increases in the production estimates for 2016.

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About the Author(s)

Forrest Laws

Forrest Laws spent 10 years with The Memphis Press-Scimitar before joining Delta Farm Press in 1980. He has written extensively on farm production practices, crop marketing, farm legislation, environmental regulations and alternative energy. He resides in Memphis, Tenn. He served as a missile launch officer in the U.S. Air Force before resuming his career in journalism with The Press-Scimitar.

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