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June 14, 2017

2017 U.S. Yield Estimates - Corn 167.0 bu/ac, Soybeans 48.0 bu/ac

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

Corn acreage - I am going to start of the season assuming that there will be 750,000 less corn acres that what was reported in the March Prospective Planting report. This is just a guess of course and I am reducing it due to prevent plant, some corn not replanted, and some corn switched to soybeans. Therefore, the corn planted acreage is estimated at 89.2 million acres and the corn harvested acreage is estimated at 81.6 million acres (91.5% of planted due to abandonment and use for silage).

Corn yield - The corn yield is now estimated at 167.0 bu/ac, which is down 2 bu/ac from my initial estimate. Therefore, the 2017 U.S. corn crop is estimated at 13.63 billion bushels. I feel there is a number of factors that could weigh on the 2017 U.S. corn yield including: very hot early season temperatures, drying soil moisture, late planted corn in the eastern Corn Belt, spotty stands and less than desirable plant populations especially in the eastern Corn Belt.

I think we need to be more cautious concerning the corn yields given the early season hot and dryer conditions. If corn is stressed during vegetative development, then the internode distance is shorter than normal and the plant ends up being shorter than normal. Under severe stress, it may up being stunted. That has not happened yet, but if it does, then yields can be significantly impacted.

These adverse conditions could be setting the stage for more problems later on. If these conditions only persist for a relatively short period of time and the weather return to "normal" for the remainder of the growing season, then there was probably only minor damage done to the crop. If this turns out to be the pattern for the summer, we will look back and say the problems started during the second week of June.

Soybean acreage - I am going to start off the season assuming that there will be 500,000 more soybean acres that what was reported in the March Prospective Planting report. I think the acreage will increase due to some switching from corn because of wet conditions that delayed corn planting. Therefore, the 2017 U.S. soybean acreage is estimate at 90.0 million acres and the harvested acreage is estimated at 89.1 million acres (99% of planted).

Soybean yield - The soybean yield is estimated at 48.0 bu/ac, which is 1 bu/ac below my initial estimate for the growing season. Therefore, the 2017 U.S. soybean crop is estimated at 4.27 billion bushels. The reason I lowered it is due to the early season hot and dry conditions that could delay germination and emergence and slow down the early growth of the crop. The soybean crop can start off the growing season with problems but end up quite well if the weather during late July and August is beneficial. Having said that, I feel we should be more cautious given these early season conditions.