The USDA Crop Production report released on Nov. 9 increased the estimated total soybean production in 2012 to 2.97 billion bushels, which is 4% above the 2.86 billion bushel estimate in October. The 2012 soybean production estimate is still 4% lower than the 2011 U.S. soybean production of 3.09 billion bushels, and 11% below the 2010 production level of 3.33 billion bushels. This production increase is a fairly major production adjustment for this late in the year.
The reason for the increase in expected U.S. soybean production by USDA was a surprising increase in the expected average U.S. soybean yield for 2012. USDA is now estimating the average soybean yield at 39.3 bu./acre, which compares to 37.8 bu. in the October USDA report. USDA credits the 1.5-bu. increase to some very favorable growing conditions in the eastern Corn Belt late in the growing season. The 2012 expected national average soybean yield is still well below recent average yields of 41.9 bu. in 2011, 43.5 bu. in 2010, and the record U.S. soybean yield of 44.0 bu. in 2009.
The latest report left the expected U.S. corn production for 2012 almost unchanged from the October estimate, with total corn production now estimated at 10.7 billion bushels. This compares to USDA corn production levels of 12.36 billion bushels in 2011, 12.45 billion bushels in 2010, and 13.1 billion bushels in 2009. The projected total 2012 U.S. corn production would be the lowest since 2006.
USDA is estimating that the 2012 average corn yield in the U.S. will be 122.3 bu./acre, which is up slightly from the September yield estimate of 122.0 bu. The current 2012 corn yield estimate would result in the lowest national corn yield since 1995. The 2012 corn yield estimate compares to recent U.S. corn yield levels of 147.2 bu./acre in 2011, 152.8 bu. in 2010, and the record U.S. average corn yield of 164.7 bu. in 2009.
Given the increase in the national soybean yield in the November report, compared to the October report, it was kind of surprising that USDA left the estimated 2012 soybean yield for Minnesota unchanged from October. USDA estimates the 2012 Minnesota soybean yield at 43 bu./acre, which is an increase of 4 bu. from the 2011 Minnesota soybean yield, but is still below the state record yield of 45 bu., set in 2010. USDA increased estimated 2012 soybean yields in Iowa, Illinois and Indiana by 1-4 bu. in the November report, compared to October. The 2012 Iowa soybean yield is now estimated at 44 bu./acre, compared to 51.5 bu. in 2011. Other projected state soybean yields for 2012 are Illinois at 43 bu., Indiana at 44 bu., Nebraska at 41 bu. and South Dakota at bu., all of which are below final 2011 yields.
Based on the Nov. 9 report, USDA is estimating the 2012 corn yield in Minnesota at 168 bu./acre, which is an increase of 12 bu. from the 2011 Minnesota corn yield of 156 bu., but still well below Minnesota’s record average corn yield of 177 bu. in 2010. USDA is projecting Iowa to have a 2012 corn yield of 139 bu., which compares to a final yield of 172 bu. in 2011, and a state record corn yield of 182 bu. in 2008. Illinois is now projected to have a drought-reduced 2012 average corn yield of 101 bu./acre, compared to 157 bu. in 2011. Estimates call for Indiana to have a 2012 average corn yield of 100 bu., compared to 146 bu. last year, and for the 2012 Nebraska corn yield to be 139 bu./acre, compared to 160 bu. in 2011. The South Dakota corn yield for 2012 is estimated at 94 bu./acre, compared to 132 bu. in 2011.