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August 20, 2014

Reaction to the 2014 U.S. August Crop Report

Corn - The August Crop Report estimated the 2014 U.S. corn yield at 167.4 bu/ac with 83.8 million acres of harvested corn. I think their corn yield is a little too low and I think their harvested acreage is too high.

The corn acreage reported in the August Crop Report is probably too high because information released by the Farm Services Agency last Friday indicated that there were 1.54 million acres of prevent-plant corn this past spring. A more realistic corn planted acreage therefore is 90.0 million acres (91.6 mac minus 1.54 mac prevent-plant = 90.06 mac planted). The corn harvested acreage is therefore now estimated at 82.4 mac (90.06 mac X 91.5% harvested = 82.4 mac harvested. The data released by the Farm Services Agency was preliminary and if anything, the corn harvested acreage might decline even further in subsequent reports.

Soybeans - The August Crop Report estimated the 2014 U.S. soybean yield at 45.4 bu/ac with 84.0 million acres harvested. I think their soybean yield was certainly in the "ballpark", but I do think their soybean acreage is too high.

The Farm Services Agency reported last Friday that preliminary data indicated that there were 827,000 acres of prevent-plant soybeans this past spring. Using their prevent-plant numbers, the soybean planted acreage is now estimated at 83.9 million acres (84.8 mac planted minus 0.827 prevent plant = 83.97 mac).

I had already been using 500,000 less harvested acres of soybeans than the USDA because I thought the USDA was too optimistic using 99.1% of the planted soybeans being harvested. I felt a more realistic percentage would be 98.5%, thus the lower harvested acreage.

Combining the prevent-plant information and a more realistic percent harvested, I am now estimating that the soybean harvested acreage at 82.7 million acres (83.97 mac planted X 98.5% harvested = 82.7 mac harvested). Once again, the data released by the Farm Services Agency was preliminary and if anything, the soybean harvested acreage might decline even further in subsequent reports.