Focus on Ag

Jan. 11 USDA Report Recap



As expected, the USDA Crop Production Report released on Jan. 11 indicates that the total U.S. corn crop in 2012 will decline significantly, and the 2012 soybean production will drop slightly, as compared to production levels in 2011. The final average yields per acre for corn and soybeans in 2012 are also expected be lower than the 2011 yields; however both corn and soybean yields for 2012 were increased from the previous report. Following are some highlights of the latest USDA Crop Production report, as well as the latest supply and demand (WADSE) reports.



According to the Jan. 11 report, the total U.S, corn production for 2012 is estimated at just under 10.78 billion bushels, a decline of about 13% from the 2011 total corn production of slightly above 12.36 billion bushels. The total U.S. corn production in recent years was 12.5 billion bushels in 2010, 13.1 billion bushels in 2009, and 12.1 billion bushels in 2008. The total corn acres harvested for grain in 2012 was 87.4 million acres.

According to the report, total corn stocks in the U.S. on Dec. 1, 2012, were projected at 8.03 billion bushels, which compares to 9.64 billion bushels on Dec. 1, 2011, and 10.0 billion bushels in 2010. The projected corn ending stocks for 2012-2013 are estimated at the very tight level of 603 million bushels, which is well below the 2011-2012 estimated ending stocks of 989 million bushels, as well as the corn ending stocks of just over 1.1 billion bushels in 2010-2011.

USDA is projecting that total U.S. corn use for 2012-2013 will be approximately 11.27 billion bushels of corn for livestock feed, ethanol, food products, seed, exports, etc., which is down from slightly over 12.53 billion bushels in 2011-2012, and just over 13 billion bushels in 2010-2011. The current corn stocks-to-use ratio for 2012-2013 is about 5%, which remains very tight, and could become an issue if drought conditions in the western Corn Belt persist into the 2013 growing season. USDA is now estimating the U.S on-farm corn price for 2012-2013 in a range of $6.80-8/bu., or an average price of $7.40, which compares to an estimated average farm price of $6.22 for 2011-2012 and $5.18 for 2010-2011.



According to the Jan. 11 report, total U.S. soybean production for 2012 is expected to be 3.01 billion bushels, which compares to 3.09 billion bushels in 2011, and 3.33 billion bushels in 2010. The total harvested soybean acreage in 2012 was 76.1 million acres, up from the 2011 level of 73.8 million acres, but slightly below the record of 76.6 million acres in 2010.

The report estimated total U.S. soybean stocks on Dec. 1, 2012, at 1.97 billion bushels, which is down 17% from the soybean stocks of 2.37 billion bushels on Dec. 1, 2011. The projected soybean ending stocks for 2012-2013 are estimated at 135 million bushels, which is down from the carryover levels of 169 million bushels in 2011-2012 and the 215 million bushels in 2010-2011. The current soybean stocks-to-use ratio is now slightly above 4%, which is the lowest in recent years. USDA is now estimating the U.S on-farm soybean price for 2012-2013 in a range of $13.50-15/bu., or an average price of $14.25. This compares to an estimated average farm price of $12.50 for 2011-2012 and $11.30 for 2010-11.


2012 Crop Yields

The national average corn yield for 2012 is now estimated at 123.4 bu./acre, which was an increase of 1.1 bu. from the previous report, but still represents a decrease of 16% from the U.S. corn yield of 147.2 bu. in 2011. The 2012 U.S. corn yield compares to other recent average corn yields of 152.8 bu. in 2010, 164.7 bu. in 2009, and 153.9 bu. in 2008.

The average corn yield for Minnesota in 2012 is estimated at 165 bu./acre, which is the highest of the major corn-producing states. The 2012 state corn yield was up 6% from the 2011 yield of 156 bu., but was well below the state record corn yield of 177 bu. in 2010. Iowa has an estimated corn yield of 137 bu. for 2012, down significantly from recent average yields of 172 bu. in 2011, 165 bu. in 2010, and state record yield of 182 bu. in 2009. The average 2012 corn yields in other major corn-production states are: Nebraska at 142 bu., Illinois at 105 bu., Indiana at 99 bu. and South Dakota at 101 bu. 2012 corn yields in all major corn-producing states except Minnesota were reduced considerably by the 2012 drought.

The U.S. average soybean yield in 2012 is estimated at 39.6 bu./acre, which is below the recent average U.S. soybean yields of 41.9 bu. in 2011, 43.5 bu. in 2010, and the U.S. record soybean yield of 44.0 bu. in 2009. The estimated average soybean yield in Minnesota for 2012 is 43 bushels per acre, which is above the 2011 average yield of 39 bu., but below the state record soybean yield of 45 bu. in 2010. The average soybean yield for 2012 in Iowa is estimated at 44.5 bu., which was fairly strong considering the drought conditions, but was well below the 2011 and 2010 state average yields of over 51 bu. The estimated drought-reduced average 2012 soybean yields in other major production states were Nebraska at 41.5 bu., Illinois at 43 bu., Indiana at 43.5 bu., and South Dakota at 30 bu.


Editor’s note: Kent Thiesse is a former University of Minnesota Extension educator and now is Vice President of MinnStar Bank, Lake Crystal, MN. You can contact him at 507-726-2137 or via e-mail at

Discuss this Blog Entry 4

on Aug 3, 2014

when i read the first paragraph, i see the decrease is about look a little two digit data, but if it from would be huge..
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on Sep 11, 2014

According to the reports of USDA, the farmers had a good season for the past couple of years. According to their prediction, the weather may not be favorable in this season. So the farmers should take necessary precautions. Keep sharing. baby acne !!

on Sep 12, 2014

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on Sep 14, 2014

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