From the Delta to the Great Plains, it's going to be a huge year for most crops. Just how huge is a matter of opinion. USDA's highly anticipated October crop report won't be released until Tuesday. But the markets this week had a host of private numbers to ponder.
Private analysts this week took a stab at predicting the 2004 harvest:
--Iowa-based F.C. Stone placed the corn crop at 11.156 billion bushels ... and the soybean crop at 3.057 billion bushels.
--Informa was even more optimistic, pegging the corn crop at 11.375 billion bushels ... and the soybean harvest at 3.107 billion bushels.
--Allendale also boosted its estimates, predicting a corn crop of 11.358 billion bushels ... and a soybean crop of 2.983 billion bushels.
No matter the estimate, each of those guesses was well above USDA's September projections. And though the market remains under harvest-time pressure, some analysts feel the trade already has adjusted to the potential for monster crops.
Incidentally, USDA's Monday morning progress report showed the harvest of the nation's corn crop is 23 percent complete ... and 36 percent of the soybean crop is in the bin. Agreeable weather this eek should push those numbers considerably higher.