Eight members of the Midwestern Governors Association this week called on congressional leaders to approve comprehensive drought relief measures. Governors John Hoeven (HOE-ven) of North Dakota and Tim Pawlenty (puh-LENT-ee) of Minnesota organized the effort. They were joined by the governors of Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, Illinois, Kansas and Wisconsin. All told, more than 20 governors have made formal request for drought relief. The federal government late last month promised more than $780 million in aid but many farm-state lawmakers say that won't be enough. While the impact of the arid conditions on U.S. crops remains to be seen, private analysts are predicting large harvests.
August weather has caused private analysts to raise their previous crop predictions. Informa's latest calculations put the U.S. Corn crop at 11.068 billion bushels, which is 92 million bushels higher than the USDA's August estimate of 10.976 billion bushels. FCStone and Allendale are less optimistic.
The analysts believe the late season rains came too late to have much of an impact on corn. Both companies estimate this year's crop at 10.887 billion bushels.
Going with the adage that "August weather makes beans," FCStone, Allendale and Informa are all now projecting a soybean crop that exceeds 3.1 billion bushels, which is higher than the USDA's August estimate of just over 2.9 billion bushels.
The USDA's revised estimates are due out early next week.