USDA surprised the soybean market on Friday by raising its estimate of U.S. production by 49 million bushels even as it further reduced in its national soybean yield estimate. The corn market also got bad news from Friday’s monthly Crop Production Report as USDA raised its corn production estimate by 124 million bushels from September.
USDA’s corn and soybean crop estimates were both near the high end of trade expectations.
USDA pegged U.S. soybean production at 2.983 billion bushels against trade estimates averaging 2.920 billion bushels in a range from 2.847 billion to 3.001 billion. The new estimate is up 1.7% from USDA’s September estimate of 2.934 billion bushels, and 11.5% from last year’s revised 2.676-billion-bushel crop.
Corn production was put at 12.2 billion bushels, compared with trade estimates averaging 12.076 billion bushels in a range from 11.841 billion to 12.250 billion bushels. The new corn production estimate is up 1% from USDA’s September crop estimate of 12.072 billion bushels, but down 6.7% from last year’s record output of 13.074 billion bushels.
The big surprise in Friday morning’s report was what USDA did with planted and harvested soybean acreage. USDA raised its estimate of U.S. soybean plantings by 2.2 million acres to 77 million and also raised its estimate of harvested acreage by 2.2 million acres to 75.5 million.
The crop report did provide further evidence that late planting dates and a dry August had a negative impact on soybean yields as USDA cut its estimate of the national average soybean yield to 39.5 bu./acre from a September estimate of 40 bu. Trade estimates of the national soybean yield averaged 39.9 bu./acre in a range from 38.9 to 40.9 bu. USDA found lower soybean yields across the Midwest and Plains states with the exception of Illinois and Kansas.
USDA raised its estimate of the national average corn yield to 154 bu./acre from a September estimate of 152.3 bu. due to increased yields in the central Midwest, the central Plains and the upper Mississippi River Valley following beneficial September rains. Trade estimates of the national corn yield averaged 152.3 bu./acre in a range from 149.3 to 155.0 bushels.
Editor’s note: Richard Brock, Corn & Soybean Digest's marketing editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.