Old Man Winter continues to tighten his grip. With the exception of a few Midwestern farmers harvesting in the snow, many U.S. grain producers are snug inside. Many have full grain bins and record tallies to boot owing much of the success to good weather.
Favorable weather has blessed farmers in the Southern Hemisphere as well. As planting comes to a close for the South American soybean titan Brazil the ground has been laid for a record crop.
According to USDA's December crop production report, U.S. soybean production is forecast at a record high 3.32 billion bushels, up 12 percent from last year. Yields are expected to average 43.3 bushels per acre, making it the highest on record.
Soybean powerhouse Brazil also is set to harvest a record soybean crop. According to the Brazilian government agency CONAB, farmers have planted 91 percent of the intended 57 million acres, up from 54 million acres last season. Heavy rains have delayed field work in the country's southern region, but most areas are experiencing near-perfect growing conditions. Brazilian farmers are expected to produce a record 64.5 million metric tons of soybeans this season, up from 57 metric tons last season.
The U.S. is expected to continue its dominance as the world leader in soybean exports. According to USDA, nearly 36.5 million metric tons of beans will be exported during the 2009-2010 crop year while Brazil is predicted to export nearly 24 million metric tons.
USDA's annual crop production estimates will be released on January 12.