Focus on Ag

Aug. 12 USDA crop report analysis



There has been a lot of uncertainty in many portions of the major corn and soybean producing areas of the United States during the 2013 growing season, which lead to a very highly anticipated Aug. 12 USDA Crop Report. Large areas of Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota were severely impacted by very late planting, which lead to a significant amount of prevented planted crop acres. Much of this same region was also negatively impacted by excessive rainfall in May and June, and is now dealing with concerns related to slower than normal crop development, due to very cool temperatures in late July and early August.

The USDA Crop Report issued on Aug. 12 estimated the 2013 total U.S. corn production to be 13.8 billion bushels, which would be new corn production record, if realized. This would be an increase of 28% from the 2012 production level of 10.8 billion bushels, and compares to 12.3 billion bushels in 2011, and 13.1 billion bushels in 2009. Based on Aug. 1 conditions, USDA is estimating total harvested corn acreage in the U.S. for 2013 at 89.1 million acres, which is unchanged from June 1 estimates, but is up 2% above the 2012 level of nearly 87.4 million harvested corn acres. Some experts feel that the total number of harvested corn acres in 2013 may decline due to the amount of prevented planted acres in some major corn producing states.

In the Aug. 12 Crop Report, USDA projected a 2013 national average corn yield of 154.4 bushels per acre, which is up considerably from the drought-reduced national corn yield of 123.4 bushels per acre in 2012. Previous national average corn yields were 147.2 bushels per acre in 2011 and 152.8 bushels per acre in 2010. USDA lowered the expected national average corn yield by 2.1 bushels per acre from earlier estimates, likely reflecting some of the growing season challenges that were identified earlier.

USDA is projecting Minnesota’s 2013 average corn yield at 166 bushels per acre, which compares to 165 bushels per acre in 2012, and 156 bushels per acre in 2011. The estimated 2013 state corn yield is still well below the record average corn yield in Minnesota of 177 bushels per acre in 2010, or the 174 bushels per acre in 2009. USDA is now projecting Iowa’s 2013 average corn yield at 163 bushels per acre, which compares to the drought-reduced yield of 137 bushels per acre in 2012, 172 bushels per acre in 2011 and 165 bushels per acre in 2010.

The 2011 USDA corn yield estimates for the other major corn producing states are Illinois at 165 bushels per acre, compared to 105 bushels per acre in 2012; Indiana at 166 bushels per acre, compared to 99 bushels per acre in 2012; and Nebraska at 161 bushels per acre, compared to 142 bushels per acre in 2012. A couple of other states of note include South Dakota with a projected 2013 average corn yield of 138 bushels per acre, compared to 101 bushels per acre in 2012, and Wisconsin with an estimated 2013 corn yield of 144 bushels per acre, compared to 121 bushels per acre in 2012. Many states in the eastern Corn Belt have had very favorable growing conditions in 2013.

The USDA report on Aug. 12 estimated total 2013 U.S. soybean production at 3.26 billion bushels, which would be the third largest in history. The projected 2013 U.S. soybean production is approximately 8% above the drought reduced 2012 total production of 3.01 billion bushels, and is above the 2011 total soybean production of 3.06 billion bushels. USDA is now estimating total 2013 harvested soybean acreage at 76.4 million acres, which is slightly above the 76.1 million acres in 2012.

The U.S. average soybean yield for 2013 is estimated at 42.6 bushels per acre, which up from 39.6 bushels per acre in 2012 but is well below the record U.S. soybean yield of 44.0 bushels per acre in 2009. Minnesota is the only major soybean producing state projected to have a lower yield in 2013, compared to 2012, due to the very late planting this year. Minnesota’s 2013 average soybean yield is estimated at 41 bushels per acre, compared to 43 bushels per acre last year, and a record yield of 45 bushels per acre in 2010. Other projected 2013 yields in major soybean producing states include Iowa at 46 bushels per acre, compared to 44.5 bushels per acre in 2012; Illinois at 47 bushels per acre, compared to 43 bushels per acre in 2012; Indiana at 50 bushels per acre, compared to 43.5 bushels per acre in 2012; Nebraska at 47 bushels per acre, compared to 41.5 bushels per acre in 2012; and South Dakota at 36 bushels per acre, compared to 31 bushels per acre in 2012

The updated USDA World Supply and Demand Estimates (WADSE), which were also released on Aug. 12, indicated lower total U.S. corn production in 2013 compared to a month earlier, along with minor adjustments in the beginning corn stocks and expected corn usage in 2013-2014. The result was projected corn ending stocks at the end of the 2013-2014 marketing year of 1.84 billion bushels, which was reduced from 1.96 billion bushels in the July estimate; however, this is still more than double the projected corn ending stocks of 719 million bushels for the 2012-2013 marketing year. USDA is projecting an average on-farm corn price for the 2013-2014 marketing year, which runs from Sept. 1, 2013, through Aug. 31, 2014, in a range of $4.50-5.30 per bushel, with an average expected price of $4.90 per bushel.

The recent WADSE estimates also lowered estimated 2013 U.S. soybean production, with minor adjustments in expected soybean usage, resulting in a 25% reduction in the projected soybean ending stocks for the 2013-2014 marketing year, as compared to the July estimates. The 2013-2014 soybean ending stocks are now estimated at 220 million bushels, which is still well above the estimated ending stocks for 2012-13 of 125 million bushels. USDA is now projecting an average on-farm soybean price for the 2013-2014 marketing year in a range of $10.35-12.35 per bushel, with an average expected price of $11.35 per bushel.


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