USDA Expands Crop Forecast from Last Month

Cindy Zimmerman

The 2018 corn, soybean, and cotton crops are all forecast to be two percent larger than USDA predicted in August, in the latest crop production report issued Wednesday.

Corn production is now forecast at 14.8 billion bushels, up 2 percent from August and up 2 percent from last year. Based on conditions as of September 1, yields are expected to average 181.3 bushels per acre, up 2.9 bushels from the August forecast and up 4.7 bushels from 2017. If realized, this will be
the highest yield on record for the United States.

Soybean production is forecast at a record 4.69 billion bushels, up 2 percent from August and up 7 percent from last year. Based on September 1 conditions, yields are expected to average a record high 52.8 bushels per acre, up 1.2 bushels from last month and up 3.7 bushels from last year.

All cotton production is forecast at 19.7 million 480-pound bales, up 2 percent from August but down 6 percent from last year. Yield is expected to average 895 pounds per harvested acre, down 16 pounds from last month and down 10 pounds from last year.

The new World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates also calls for larger production, increased domestic use, greater exports, and higher ending stocks for corn.

Feed and residual use and export demand projections were raised by 50 million bushels, with ethanol demand estimates raised by 25 million bushels. “As the increase to production projections more than offset these demand increases, the average farm price was decreased by 10 cents, with the new price range projected as $3.00 to $4.00 per bushel,” noted the National Corn Growers Association.

“Corn was the biggest surprise in this report,” said Brian Basting of Advance Trading, Inc., in his analysis during the MGEX Crop Conference call, adding that the “trade was actually looking for a decrease” in corn yield compared to August.

Listen to some of Basting’s analysis here: MGEX crop call comments from Brian Basting, Advance Trading

Audio, corn, Ethanol, Ethanol News, NCGA, USDA