Iowa Public Television


USDA Predicts Near Record Corn Crop

posted on July 11, 2008

On Monday, the Agriculture Department opened land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program, or CRP, to emergency haying and grazing. The move was designed to provide some relief to farmers -- particularly livestock producers -- who have struggled to cope with rising grain prices, torrential rains and record flooding.

USDA was considering the release of all 34.7 million acres enrolled in CRP without penalty to producers, but a lawsuit filed by several environmental groups has those plans on hold. On Wednesday, a federal judge ordered USDA to halt the haying and grazing program.

While cool, wet conditions delayed planting and crop development, last week's acreage report revealed farmers planted more corn than expected. And in light of this week's supply and demand report, the market is planning on a sizable crop this fall.

USDA Predicts Near Record Corn Crop With devastating flood waters receding and fresh seeds in the ground, USDA released its July supply and demand report this week. Despite all the severe weather hitting the Midwest it appears crop damage was not as serious as previously believed.

Factoring in flood losses and shifts in acreage USDA estimates a corn harvest of 11.7 billion bushels. The amount is just below private estimates of a little more than 12 billion but nearly even with June's official report. If everything holds, the harvest will be 10 percent smaller than last year's all-time record high of 13.1 billion bushels.

Even with a switch from corn by many Midwest farmers, USDA expects 3 billion bushels of soybeans to go into the bin. That's about 3 percent lower than last month's projection and in line with private estimates.

With the entire wheat crop mostly unaffected by the recent severe weather, USDA projects a harvest of 2.5 billion bushels. That's even with private estimates and only slightly higher than last month's quote.

In the weeks preceding this report weather damage had been a concern for the market. With recent surveys, last week's acreage report, and new crop estimates in hand, the market pondered the changes.

Tags: agriculture conservation corn crops markets news USDA