Iowa Public Television


Crop Estimates Head North Again

posted on November 8, 2013

Weather forecasters are calling for generally favorable conditions over the next week enabling farmers to wrap up the harvest.

At the beginning of this week, 95 percent of America’s corn was in the bin as was 92 percent of its soybeans.

Many growers have been pleasantly surprised by yields. And in its latest estimates on supply and demand this week, the Agriculture Department again called for corn production to soar to an all-time high.

Crop Estimates Head North Again

Despite persistent drought in many parts of the Grain Belt this past summer, government analysts INCREASED estimates – yet again -- on 2013 corn production.  According to the Agriculture Department, U.S. producers will harvest a record 13.99 billion bushels this fall.  That’s up 146 million bushels from its last report in September.  USDA pegs the national average corn yield at 160.4 bushels per acre, up nearly 30 percent from last year’s drought-reduced crop.

Government bean counters also increased their estimates on U.S. soybean production. USDA now is calling for total U.S. production of 3.26 billion bushels… up 3 percent from last month’s estimate.  If realized, that would be the third-largest domestic soybean crop in history. The national average soybean yield is expected to increase to 43 bushels per acre reflecting an increase of nearly 9 percent from last year. 

Turning to its monthly supply and demand estimates, USDA predicts record production will result in new-crop ending stocks of 1.9 billion bushels.

Analyzed as a percentage of demand, the domestic stocks-to-use ratio was unchanged at 14.6 percent.  And USDA analysts reduced their season-average price estimates by 30 cents from their last report to $4.50 per bushel.

U.S. soybean ending stocks are pegged at 170 million bushels.  An accompanying domestic soybean stocks-to-use ratio of 5.2 percent is tight by historical standards.  Nevertheless, the Agriculture Department reduced its average price estimates by 35 cents from its last report to $12.15 per bushel.

And the U.S wheat stocks-to-use-ratio is predicted to decline by a tenth of a point to 23.2 percent.  And after considering estimates of increased global wheat stockpiles the figures prompted USDA to leave its season-average price estimate unchanged at $7.00 per bushel.



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