Rather than reduce projected yields for this corn crop, as many expected, USDA projected yields higher and corn production record high in Thursday’s monthly World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE).

Expectations for lower yields were based on recent sweltering temperatures in part of the Corn Belt and Northern Plains.

As analysts noted in last week’s USDA Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin, “Midwestern drought expanded and intensified during August, placing immature corn and soybeans under increasing levels of stress during the filling stage of development. In addition, previously favorable temperatures were replaced by late-month heat, leading to further declines in summer crop yield potential. By September 1, little more than half of the nation’s corn (56%) and soybeans (54%) were rated by USDA in good to excellent condition, down from early-July highs of 68% and 67%, respectively.”

But, WASDE analysts suggest higher yields across the South and in the Central Plains will more than offset expected yield declines in Iowa and North Dakota.

WASDE analysts increased projected corn yield by 0.9 bu./acre to 155.3 bu./acre and increased forecast corn production to a record 13.8 billion bu. The projected season-average corn price was lowered 10¢ at both ends of the range to $4.40-$5.20/bu.

Earlier this month, Darrel Good, agricultural economist at the University of Illinois explained the crop would have to be less than 12.7 billion bu. to require rationing. There are assumptions tied up in the statement, but the projected 1 billion bu. largesse relative to that minimum should erase any rationing concerns.

It projected that soybean production continues to wilt as expected.

Estimated soybean production was sliced by 106 million bu. to 3.149 billion bu. due to lower yield prospects (estimated at 41.2 bu./acres, 1.4 bu./acre less), especially in the western Corn Belt. The projected season-average soybean price increased $1.15/bu. at both ends of the range to $11.50-$13.50/bu.

 

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