The Oct. 11 USDA crop report showed significant increases for both corn and soybean yields in Minnesota, as compared to September crop report. This corresponds closely to actual corn and soybean yields being reported from many areas of the state, which have been better than expected, given the extremely dry weather conditions that existed in several areas. Crop yields in the southwest and south-central parts of the state have been highly variable due to the drought conditions that existed during the last half of the 2012 growing season. However, it appears that adequate stored soil moisture resulting from the above-normal rainfall in May, along with some timely rainfalls during the critical portion of the growing season, helped achieve the better-than-expected 2012 corn and soybean yields in many areas of the state. Minnesota is certainly the bright spot in the U.S. in 2012 for corn and soybean yields, as nationwide yield results come in during this drought year.
Based on the Oct. 11 report, USDA is estimating the 2012 corn yield in Minnesota at 165 bu./acre, which is an increase of 8% compared to the September estimate of 156 bu. The 2012 Minnesota anticipated corn yield is well above the final 2011 average of 156 bu., but still below the 2010 record yield of 177 bu. USDA is now estimating the 2012 average corn yield in Iowa to be 140 bu./acre, well below the 2011 corn yield of 172 bu., or the record average state corn yield of 182 bu. in 2008. Illinois is projected to have a 2012 average corn yield of 98 bu./acre, compared to 157 bu. in 2011. Other 2012 estimated corn yields are 100 bu. for Indiana, compared to 146 in 2011; 142 bu. in Nebraska, compared to 160 in 2011; and 94 bu./acre in South Dakota, compared to 132 bu. in 2011.
The USDA report estimated the 2012 Minnesota soybean yield at 43 bu./acre, which is an increase of 5 bu. from the September report, or an impressive 13% increase in one month. The 2012 statewide estimated soybean yield is well above the final 2011 Minnesota soybean yield of 39 bu./acre, but is lower than the 2010 state record average yield of 45 bu. The projected 2011 Iowa soybean yield is estimated at 43 bu./acre, which compares to an average yield of 50.5 bu. in 2011. Other 2012 state average soybean yields are Illinois at 39 bu., compared to 47.5 in 2011; Indiana at 41 bu., compared to 45.5 in 2011; Nebraska at 41 bu., compared to 54 in 2011; and South Dakota at 28 bu., compared to 37 in 2011.
Normally, the October USDA crop report does not attract the same attention as some other months, because the crop production numbers are fairly well established. However, this was not the case in 2011, with the tremendous amount of uncertainty surrounding corn and soybean yields due to the extensive drought conditions in a large potion of the Midwest and Plains states. The USDA report released on Oct. 11 showed a slight decrease in the expected U.S. corn production for 2012, and a slight increase in the estimated U.S. soybean production, as compared to the September USDA estimates. The projected total 2012 U.S. corn production would be the lowest since 2006.
USDA is now estimating the total 2012 corn production at 10.7 billion bushels, which is well below the 12.4 billion bushels produced in both 2011 and 2010, and compares to 13.1 billion bushels in 2009. The report is estimating total soybean production in 2012 at 2.86 billion bushels, which is down 9% from the 2011 production level of 3.06 billion bushels, and compares to U.S. soybean production of 3.33 billion bushels in 2010, and 3.36 billion bushels in 2009.
In the Oct. 11 report, USDA lowered the average 2012 corn yield in the U.S. to 122.0 bu./acre, which is down slightly from the September corn yield estimate of 122.8 bu., and would be the lowest average U.S. corn yield since 1995. The projected 2011 yield would be well below the 2011 corn yield of 147.2 bu./acre, or the 2010 U.S. corn yield of 152.8 bu., as well as the record U.S. average corn yield of 164.7 bu. in 2009. The average U.S. soybean yield for 2012 is now estimated at 37.8 bu./acre, which is up an impressive 2.5 bu./acre from the September USDA estimate of 35.3 bu. The 2012 soybean yield estimate is still well below the 2011 average U.S. soybean yield of 41.9 bu./acre, and the 2010 soybean yield of 43.5 bu., or the record U.S. soybean yield of 44.0 bu. in 2009.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.