Up and down: USDA releases latest crop forecast, demand numbers

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WASHINGTON — Dry conditions and variable temperatures in August produced corn and soybean crops that are maturing slowly, but are still expected to produce record yields in Ohio in 2013, according to Cheryl Turner, state statistician with the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Great Lakes Region.

This report is based on conditions as of Sept. 1, 2013.

Yield predictions

The forecast for corn yield in Ohio is 172 bushels per acre, which would be a 49-bushel increase from last year. The expected soybean yield is 49 bushels per acre, which would equal the record high, and is a 4 bushel increase from last year.

National record

Nationally, corn production is forecast at 13.8 billion bushels, up 28 percent from 2012. If realized, this will be a new record production for the United States.

Based on conditions as of Sept. 1, yields are expected to average 155.3 bushels per acre, up 0.9 bushels from the August forecast and 31.9 bushels above the 2012 average. If realized, this will be the highest average yield since 2009.

Area harvested for grain is forecast at 89.1 million acres, up 2 percent from 2012.

In the U.S., soybean production is forecast at 3.15 billion bushels, up 4 percent from last year. If realized, production will be the fourth largest on record. Based on Sept. 1 conditions, yields are expected to average 41.2 bushels per acre, down 1.4 bushels from last month but up 1.6 bushels from last year.

Area for harvest in the United States is forecast at 76.4 million acres, unchanged from August but up slightly from 2012.

Supply and use

In addition the USDA’s World Agricultural Outlook Board released updated forecasts of the supply and consumption of crops for the 2012-13 marketing year that just ended and the 2013-14 marketing year that just started.

The September WASDE report forecast old crop corn stocks on Sept. 1 at 661 million bushels.

For the current marketing year, the forecasts of consumption are unchanged from the August forecasts, resulting a projection of year ending stocks of 1.855 billion bushels, only 18 million larger than last month’s projection.

The marketing year average farm price is projected in a range of $4.40 to $5.20. Darrel Good, ag economist at the University of Illinois, expects the average price to be in the lower end of that range (near the current level) and likely in a relatively narrow range, at least during the first half of the marketing year.

Soybeans

The September WASDE report made only minor changes to the supply and consumption forecasts for the 2012-13 marketing year just ended, leaving the projection of Sept. 1 stocks at 125 million bushels.

For the current marketing year, the projection of the domestic crush was reduced by 20 million bushels and the projection of exports was reduced by 15 million bushels.

The smaller projections reflected a combination of smaller supplies, higher prices, and competition from South America, Good said.

Year-ending stocks are projected at only 150 million bushels, 70 million below last month’s projection.

The marketing year average farm price is projected in a range of $11.50 to $13.50.

Good expects the production forecast will be reduced in October and that the average price will be in the upper half of the price range.

“With a smaller crop forecast, prices would be expected to reach the highest level in October, followed by erratically lower prices during the remainder of the marketing year, assuming no substantial problems with the South American crops,” he said.

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