September Crop Report

The USDA Crop Report released on September 12 increased the estimated U.S. corn production for 2006 by 1%, or by approximately 138 million bushels from the August 1 estimate. The expected total production level in 2006 is now projected at 11.114 billion bushels, with a national average corn yield of 154.7 bu./acre. This may seem surprising to many growers in Minnesota, given the drought conditions that have existed in many areas of the state for much of the summer. Minnesota’s average 2006 corn yield on Sept. 1, 2006, is projected at 164 bu./acre, which is 10 bu./acre lower than the final 2005 corn yield of 174 bu./acre, but is up 4 bu./acre from the estimated yield of 160 bu./acre on August 1, 2006. Some feel that the USDA corn production estimates for 2006 are underestimated, given some good to excellent crop growing conditions in many areas later in the growing season. The estimated 2006 corn yields in some other major corn production states include: Iowa – 174 bu./acre, Illinois – 174 bu./acre, Indiana – 167 bu./acre, Nebraska – 157 bu./acre and Missouri – 142 bu./acre. The 2006 USDA estimated corn yield for Illinois of 174 bu./acre is 22% higher than the 2005 drought-year average corn yield of 143 bu./acre.

Interestingly, the USDA Crop Report in September 2005 projected a national average yield of 143.2 bu./acre, and a total U.S. corn production of 10.639 billion bushels for 2005. Even with a significant drought in Illinois, the final actual USDA corn production figures for 2005 was a total production of 11.1 billion bushels, with a national average yield of 147.9 bu./acre, which represented about a 4% increase over the September 2005 USDA Crop Production estimate. Given the favorable late-season growing conditions in much of the Midwest, a small production increase from the Sept. 1 USDA estimates to the final production figures for the 2006 corn crop could again be likely.

The estimated 2006 U.S. soybean production on Sept. 1, according to the USDA Crop Report, was 3.093 billion bushels. This projection was slightly higher than the August 1, 2005 estimate, and was higher than the USDA estimate of 2.856 billion bushels for the 2005 soybean crop on Sept. 1, 2005. The final USDA total soybean production for 2005 was 3.09 billion bushels, with a record national average yield of 43.3 bu./acre. The projected national average soybean yield for 2006 is 41.8 bu./acre, which is up 2.2 bu./acre from the August 1, 2006 USDA estimate. Minnesota’s projected average soybean yield for 2006 is 40 bu./acre, which compares to a final soybean yield of 45 bu./acre in 2005. The estimated 2006 soybean yields in some other Midwestern states include: Iowa – 49 bu./acre, Illinois – 48 bu./acre, Indiana – 50 bu./acre, Nebraska – 50 bu./acre and Missouri – 41 bu./acre.

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.