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October 19, 2011

U.S. Corn and Soy Yields Could Decline Slightly in Nov. Report

When the USDA lowers the U.S. corn and soybean production estimates in September and then again in the October Crop Report, there is a 70% to 80% probability that the estimate will decline again in the November report or the year-end summary in January. In addition to the historical trend that would indicate a lower yields in the future, we have also been thinking all along that in most areas, the early harvest results would be better than the later harvest results. With that in mind, my observations of the October Crop Report include the following:

Corn

  • The USDA estimated the 2011 U.S. corn yield at 148.1 bu/ac, which was unchanged from their September estimate.
  • I was estimating the corn yield at 147.0 bu/ac.
  • I think the corn yield could slip a little further from the USDA estimate to 147.8 bu/ac in the November report, or down another 0.3 bushels per acre.
  • The USDA estimated the harvested corn acreage at 83.9 million acres, which was down 452,000 from earlier estimates.
  • I was estimating the corn harvested acreage at 84.0 million, but I will now use the USDA harvested acreage of 83.9 million.
  • The USDA estimated the corn production at 12.432 billion bushels and I was estimating it at 12.34 billion bushels.
  • If I use the USDA harvested acreage of 83.9 million and a yield of 147.8 bu/ac, it would result in a total production of 12.40 billion bushels or down another 32 million bushels from the current USDA estimate.

Soybeans

  • The USDA estimated the 2011 U.S. soybean yield at 41.5 bu/ac, which was down 0.3 bushels from their September estimate.
  • I was estimating the soybean yield at 40.0 and going into the report I knew I was too low. I thought the soybean yield would decline in the October report, but I was too pessimistic.
  • I think the soybean yield might still decline a little further from the USDA estimate to 41.3 bu/ac, or down another 0.2 bushels per acre.
  • The USDA estimated the harvested soybean acreage at 73.67 million acres, which was down 147,000 from earlier estimates.
  • I was estimating the soybean harvested acreage at 73.4 million acres, but I will now use the USDA harvested acreage of 73.67 million.
  • The USDA estimated the soybean production at 3.05 billion bushels and I was estimating it at 2.93 billion bushels.
  • If I use the USDA harvested acreage of 73.67 million acres and a yield of 41.3 bu/ac, it would result in a total production of 3.04 billion bushels or down another 17 million bushels from the current USDA estimate.

I think we are now close to the final yield and production estimates for the 2011 U.S. corn and soybean crops. I have also narrowed the maximum and minimums for both crops as well. Any further changes in the future should be minor.