New production, consumption forecasts for corn and soybeans
Thursday, the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released new forecasts of the size of the 2013 corn and soybean crops. In addition the USDA's World Agricultural Outlook Board released updated forecasts of the supply and consumption of those crops for the 2012-13 marketing year that just ended and the 2013-14 marketing year that just started. Following is a summary of those forecasts and a discussion of the market implications of the forecasts.
NASS now forecasts the U.S. average corn yield at 155.3 bushels per acre, compared to the August forecast of 154.4 bushels. With the harvested acreage estimate unchanged at 89.135 million acres, the new forecast points to a crop of 13.843 billion bushels, 80 million larger than the August forecast. The yield forecast is 1.4 bushels above the average trade guess State-by-state, the largest increases in yield forecasts came mostly in southern states, where forecasts were 2 to 10 bushels above the August forecasts. Forecasts were also larger for Kansas (9 bushels) and South Dakota (7 bushels). Forecasts declined by 5 bushels in Missouri and North Dakota.
To a large extent, the increase in the forecast of the U.S. average corn yield from August reflected higher average ear populations reported from the NASS Objective Yield Survey. In the 10 objective yield states, the average ear population was found to be about 1,000 larger than reported in August. The average yield forecast is also much higher than feared by some based on the generally very dry conditions in August. The potential for relatively high yields under such dry conditions is explained extremely well by Emerson Nafziger, Ph.D., Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois in an article posted here. While the 2013 average corn yield will be below trend value for the fourth consecutive year, the crop appears to have overcome the effects of widespread late planting and widespread dryness late in the season with a combination of high plant populations and very favorable pollination weather. NASS will release new yield and production forecasts on October 11. A meaningful change in the yield forecast is not expected, but the production forecast could be altered based on a change in the harvested acreage estimate.
The September WASDE report forecast the stocks old crop corn on September 1, 2013 at 661 million bushels, down from the August forecast of 719 million bushels. The estimates of corn consumption during the year just ended were increased for each category of consumption, consistent with our expectations reported earlier this week.