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USDA projects U.S. corn will set new record




Iowa Correspondent


WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. corn production is expected to hit a record 14 billion bushels, with soybean production predicted to reach a record 3.82 billion, up 16 percent from last year – and causing stocks to soar, according to the USDA’s Crop Production report, released Aug. 12.

"Growing conditions were conducive for corn growers who are also expected to produce a record-high crop at 14 billion bushels of corn, up 1 percent from 2013, which was also a record at the time," according to an Aug. 12 USDA news release. "Today’s report also included the first production forecast for U.S. cotton."

The World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report (WASDE) was also released Aug. 12, which projected U.S. corn yield of 167.4 bushels per acre. "That is up from 165.3 bushels per acre a month ago, which pushes projected U.S. corn production to just over 14 billion bushels," said John Anderson, American Farm Bureau Federation deputy chief economist. "That’s a record.

"Increases in projected corn use largely offset the higher production, leaving stocks projections almost flat, at just 7 million bushels above last month’s estimate."

Anderson said "soybeans held few surprises, as the WASDE yield estimate rose 0.2 bushels to 54.2 bushels per acre. The slight increase in production went straight into carryover, raising projected carryover to 430 million bushels."

According to Anderson, prices are expected to trend upwards, since earlier forecasts had put production at about 170 bushels per acre. "Projected corn production of 14.032 billion bushels is still massive, but it is probably about 200 million bushels below what the market had expected," he said.

Based on conditions as of Aug. 1, the Crop Production report stated corn yields are expected to average 167.4 bushels per acre, up 8.6 from 2013. If realized, this will be the highest yield and production on record for the United States, with area-harvested-for-grain forecast at 83.8 million acres, unchanged from the June forecast but down 4 percent from 2013.

As the nation’s top corn producer, Iowa corn production is forecast at a record 2.44 billion bushels, the report said. Soybean production is forecast at 502 million, a 22 percent increase from the previous year. Moreover, Iowa oat production for grain is forecast at 4.29 million bushels, with Iowa hay yield for alfalfa and alfalfa mixtures expected to be 3.7 tons per acre, and a total production of 2.7 million tons.

In Illinois, the corn yield is forecast at 188 bushels per acre, up 10 bushels from 2013, the report said. If realized, this would be a record high yield for Illinois, with the soybean yield forecast at 54 bushels, up 5 from 2013. The winter wheat yield forecast at 67 bushels.

In addition, Indiana’s average corn yield is forecast at a record high 179 bushels, with total production forecast at 1.047 billion bushels, the report said. Soybean yield is forecast at 51 bushels per acre, with winter wheat yield estimated at 73.

In Kentucky, corn production is forecast at 200 million bushels, down 18 percent from the previous crop, the report said, with yield estimated at 40 bushels per acre, down 9.5 from a year ago. Soybean production is forecast at 67.6 million bushels.

In Michigan, corn production is forecast at 161 bushels per acre, the report said, with soybean production expected to total 100.76 million bushels. Sugar beet growers estimate a yield of 26.5 tons per acre, with winter wheat expected to total 37.23 million bushels.

In Ohio, the average corn yield is forecast at 177 bushels per acre, with soybean yield forecast at 49. Winter wheat yield is estimated at a record 74 bushels per acre, with Ohio’s oat yield forecast at 55, the report added.

In Tennessee, corn production is forecast at 123 million bushels, with acres-for-harvest-as-grain estimated at 820,000 acres, the report said. Soybean production is forecast at 69.5 million bushels, with Tennessee cotton production projected to be 440,000 bales.

In addition, the report said soybean yields are expected to average a record high 45.4 bushels per acre, up 2.1 from last year. Based on Aug. 1 conditions, area-for-harvest in the United States is forecast at a record 84.1 million acres, unchanged from June but up 11 percent from last year.

It stated all U.S. cotton production is forecast at 17.5 million 480-pound bales, up 36 percent from last year, with yield expected to average 820 pounds per harvested acre, down slightly from 2013.

The report added that all U.S. wheat production, at 2.03 billion bushels, is up 2 percent from the July forecast, but down 5 percent from 2013. Based on Aug. 1 conditions, the national yield is forecast at 43.9 bushels per acre, up 0.8 from last month but down 3.3 bushels from last year.

Despite record-breaking U.S. crop projections, Chris Hurt, Purdue University Extension agricultural economist, said the last several years may have been the era of grain; however, plummeting corn and soybean prices could change all that.

"What we’re moving into now is a real diminishing of the grain era," he said in a panel discussion about the Crop Production report at the Indiana State Fair. "(For) those end users – like the livestock sector – the next several years may be their era where they are coming back with good incomes and rebuilding these herds."

To read the complete USDA Aug. 12 Crop Production report, visit