Though 10.9 billion bu. would still be the second-largest corn crop on record, that figure represents a 2% decline in USDA's October estimate compared to the month prior.

According to the Livestock Marketing Information Center (LMIC), based on weekly data, for the first three quarters of this year, Omaha corn prices averaged $2.04/bu. compared to $1.81 last year; about 3% less than the 2000-2004 average. In early October, Omaha corn prices were over $2.40/bu.

In fact, the LMIC folks explain that in their calf and yearling price forecasts for 2007 and 2008, most of the forecasted declines in prices are due to higher corn prices.

For the week ending Oct. 15, according to National Ag Statistics Service (NASS).

  • Corn -- 41% is harvested , which is 7% behind last year and 2% behind the five-year average. 61% is rated Good or better , compared to 57% last year.
  • Soybeans -- Growers have harvested 69% of the crop, compared to 74% at this time last year and 65% for the average.
  • Winter Wheat -- 79% of the crop is sown, 1% more than the same time last year but 1% less than average. 52% of the crop has emerged, 1% ahead of last year, but 4% behind the normal pace. Development was behind normal in the Corn Belt and in the Great Plains.
  • Sorghum -- 95% was at or beyond turning color, 4% behind last year and 2% behind the normal pace. 76% is mature, compared to 71% last year and 70% for average. 48% has been harvested, compared to 50% last year and 53% for average. 31% is rated Good or better, compared to 50% last year.
  • Pasture -- 27% is rated Good or Excellent, compared to 31% last year. 23% is rated Poor and 19% is ranked Very Poor, compared to 21% and 14% respectively at the same time last year.
States with the worst pasture conditions -- at least 40% of the acreage rated poor or worse -- include: Alabama (62%); Arkansas (40%); California (83%); Georgia (50%); Kansas (46%); Louisiana (44%); Mississippi (65%); Missouri (63%); Nebraska (45%); Nevada (60%); North Dakota (57%); Oklahoma (68%); Oregon (65%); Texas (62%); and Wyoming (62%).

States with the lushest pasture conditions -- at least 40% rated good or better -- include: Idaho (43%); Illinois (50%); Indiana (64%); Iowa (52%); Kentucky (74%); Maine (70%); Maryland (51%); Michigan (52%); Minnesota (42%); New Mexico (57%); New York (55%); North Carolina (68%); Ohio (71%); Pennsylvania (47%); South Carolina (43%); Utah (48%); Virginia (56%); Washington (62%); West Virginia (60%); and Wisconsin (52%).