November USDA Crop Report

The latest USDA Crop Production Report, released on Nov. 9, gives an indication of the final harvest results for the 2006 U.S. corn and soybean crop, and what the carryover grain stocks are as we head into 2007. According to the report, it’s estimated that 71.0 million acres of corn will be harvested in 2006 with a total production of 10.7 billion bushels of corn. The estimated 2006 corn production level is slightly below the 2005 corn production of 11.1 billion bushels, and well below the record 11.8 billion bushels harvested in 2004, but is above the 10.1 billion bushel production in 2003 and 8.9 billion bushels in 2002. Harvested corn acreage was 75.1 million acres in 2005, 73.6 million acres in 2004, 70.9 million acres in 2003 and 69.3 million acres in 2002. The national average corn yield for 2006 is projected at 151.2 bu./acre, which is up from an average of 147.9 bu./acre in 2005, but is below the record of 160.4 bu./acre in 2004, and is considerably higher than the 142.2 in 2003 and 129.3 bu./acre in 2002.

The report estimated the average corn yield in Minnesota for 2006 at 166 bu./acre, which is the second highest corn yield on record, and one of the highest state average corn yields in the U.S. The record corn yield in Minnesota was recorded in 2005 at 174 bu./acre. In the major corn producing states in the U.S., corn yield estimates for 2006 are: 163 bu./acre in Iowa, 165 bu./acre in Illinois, 159 bu./acre in Indiana and 159 bu./acre in Nebraska.

Total U.S. soybean production for 2006 is estimated at 3.2 billion bushels. This compares to 3.1 billion bushels in both 2005 and 2004, 2.4 billion bushels in 2003 and 2.7 billion bushels in 2002. The total harvested soybean acreage in 2006 is estimated at 74.5 million acres, which is up from 71.3 million acres in 2005, and about the same as the 74.0 million acres harvested in 2004. The projected U.S. average soybean yield for 2006 is 43.0 bu./acre, which is the same as the U.S. average yield in 2005, and very close to the U.S. average yield of 42.2 bu./acre in 2004, but considerably higher than the average soybean yield of 33.9 bushels per acre in 2003.

USDA estimates average 2006 soybean yields in Minnesota to be at 43 bu./acre, which is almost the same as the 2005 average yield of 44 bu./acre. Projected average soybean yields in 2006 in other major soybean producing states are: 50 bu./acre in Iowa, 50 bu./acre in Illinois, 51 bu./acre in Indiana and 51 bu./acre in Nebraska.

U.S. Grain Inventories
Based on the Nov. 9 USDA Summary, the estimated carryover stocks of U.S. corn for 2006-2007 are 935 million bushels, which is down considerably from the corn carryover stocks of 2.0 billion bushels for 2005-2006 and 2.1 billion bushels for 2004-2005. The projected U.S. corn carryover has been reduced due to increased corn usage for ethanol production and strong export markets in the past year. The projected 2006-2007 U.S. soybean carryover is estimated at 300 million bushels, which is about the same as the 320 million bushel carryover level that existed a year ago. Current U.S. soybean carryover levels are comparable to the highest carryover levels since the early 1990s.

Editors 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 kent.thiesse@minnstarbank.com.