But regardless of how much is left in the field, one thing is certain: 2004 is the year of the monster crops.
FCStone, a commodity brokerage firm in West Des Moines, Iowa, now forecasts the 2004-05 U.S. corn crop at 11.573 billion bushels and the U.S. soybean crop at 3.118 billion bushels. The company predicts the 2004-05 average corn yield at 157.9 bushels per acre and the average soybean yield at 42.1 bushels per acre. These numbers are up from FCStone's October projections.
Estimates from the Linn Group, a Chicago based research consulting and executing firm, are even bigger. It forecasts the corn crop at 11.678 billion bushels and the soybean crop at 3.149 billion bushels. The company says the estimates are based on yield reports and harvest progress from fields around the country.
And on Friday, Informa Economics released its latest crop projections. The company is calling for a corn harvest of 11.75 billion bushels ... and a soybean crop of 3.15 billion bushels. Both estimates are above Informa's October projections. The company sees average corn yield at 160.3 bushels an acre ... and average soybean yield at 42.6 bushels per acre.
Last year, the U.S. produced 10.114 billion bushels of corn and 2.454 billion bushels of soybeans.