USDA raises corn, soy harvest outlooks, surprising markets

Gladys Abbott
September 13, 2017

United States corn production in the 2017/18 crop year will total 14.185 billion bushels, based on an average yield of 169.9 bushels per acre, USDA said in the report.

Another month and another World Agricultural Supply and Demand Economics (WASDE) report from the Department of Agriculture is upon us.

About 5% of the USA corn crop was harvested as of Sunday, just behind the prior five-year average of 6%, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Sorghum for grain production in South Dakota also is forecast to decline from last year's harvest.

Based on conditions as of September 1, yields are expected to average 169.9 bushels per acre, up 0.4 bushel from the August forecast but down 4.7 bushels from 2016. The USDA September crop report was deemed as bearish as it adjusted the USA corn and soybean yields upwards.

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Soybeans per acre could decline by about 13 percent, from 55 bushels per acre past year to 48 bushels per acre, according to the release. In August, USDA pegged the soybean harvest at 4.381 billion bushels, based on a yield of 49.4 bushels per acre. If realized, this will be the third highest yield and production on record for the United States.

"Tuesday's crop report data was collected well before Irma and was either finished before Harvey hit Texas or the data collection was impacted by Harvey, so the numbers being forecast are subject to change", he explained.

Analysts, on average, had expected corn production of 14.035 billion bushels and a yield of 168.2 bushels per acre.

Corn futures for December delivery fell 2 ¼ cents to $3.55 ¼ a bushel overnight on the Chicago Board of Trade. Other industrial use is lowered 50 million bushels.

Domestic soybean ending stocks for 2017/18 were left unchanged at 475 million bushels.

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