USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service is continuing to forecast record and near-record yields and production for U.S. corn, cotton and soybeans as good weather continues to dominate in the major growing areas for each of those crops.
Surveys conducted by USDA-NASS indicate corn farmers believe they will harvest 15.1 billion bushels with an average yield of 174.4 bushels as of Sept. 1. Those numbers are down slightly from the Aug. 1 USDA-NASS report, but both would still be records for the U.S.
Soybean production is forecast at a record 4.2 billion bushels, up 3 percent from USDA-NASS’ Aug. 1 Crop Production Report. USDA is predicting soybean farmers will harvest a record 50.6 bushels per acre, which would be up 1.7 bushels from August and 2.6 bushels from last year based on USDA’s survey of producers and objective sampling of selected fields.
Soybean futures closed lower following the 4.2-billion-bushel forecast, which was higher than many market participants expected. Corn futures were also slightly lower because traders had expected a bigger reduction in the corn forecast.
“Late-summer downpours from an unnamed disturbance caused extensive, mid-month flooding in southern Louisiana and soaked a much broader area stretching from the western Gulf Coast region into parts of the Midwest,” USDA-NASS said in its August Weather Summary in the September report.
Degradations in quality
“From the Mississippi Delta westward, the heavy rain and flooding led to degradations in quality for a variety of unharvested crops, including rice and sorghum.”
Across the Midwest the disturbance’s interaction with a cold front contributed to heavy rain, USDA-NASS said, “leading to drought relief in the eastern Corn Belt, but increasing disease pressure for some Midwestern corn and soybeans.”
The report authors said 91 percent of the U.S. corn crop was at or beyond the silking stage by July 31, 4 percentage points ahead of last year and 6 percentage points ahead of the five-year average. Since then, moisture conditions have been favorable across the Midwest.
In the Mid-South, USDA-NASS lowered the yield forecasts for Arkansas and Louisiana from 189 to 184 bushels and 178 to 174 bushels per acre due to the unusually high amounts of rainfall received in each during August.
The forecasts in Mississippi and Tennessee, which received less rainfall, remained unchanged in Mississippi at 172 bushels and lowered in Tennessee from 155 to 150 bushels. The average for Missouri was reduced from 166 bushels to 165 bushels.
USDA-NASS lowered the grain sorghum yield forecast for Arkansas from 88 to 78 bushels after the abnormal amount of rainfall coupled with high temperatures resulted in sorghum heads sprouting in many fields. Louisiana’s yield forecast was unchanged at 97 bushels and Mississippi’s reduced from 90 to 87 bushels per acre.
Increased rice production
The 2016 U.S. rice crop is projected to total 237.14 million hundredweight, up from 192.34 million hundredweight in 2015. U.S. long grain production is expected to increase from 2015’s 133 million hundredweight to 177.89 million hundredweight. Medium grain production could decline from 56.67 million to 56.08 million hundredweight.
USDA-NASS lowered the yield forecast for Arkansas from 7,500 pounds in its August Crop Production Report to 7,400 pounds per acre. Arkansas’ total production is expected to increase from 94.34 million hundredweight in 2015 to 112.55 million hundredweight in 2016.
California’s yield forecast was lowered from 8,800 pounds to 8,700, giving it statewide production of 48.63 million hundredweight; Louisiana’s from 7,100 to 6,850, giving it production of 29.8 million hundredweight; Mississippi’s from 7,300 to 7,000, resulting in production of 13.5 million hundredweight; Missouri’s was raised from 6,700 pounds to 7,000 pounds per acre, resulting in production of 16.17 million hundredweight; and Texas was left unchanged at 8,500 pounds, resulting in production of 16.4 million hundredweight.
Mid-South soybean yields are projected to be close to the national average with Arkansas growers’ yields pegged at 49 bushels, unchanged from 2015; Louisiana’s at 50, up nine bushels from 2015; Mississippi’s at 47 bushels, unchanged from 2015; Missouri’s at 49, up nine from 2015; and Tennessee’s at 49, up three from 2015.
In the Mid-South, Mississippi cotton producers are expected to harvest 1,159 pounds of lint per acre in 2016, up 35 pounds from 2015; Missouri’s, 1,116 pounds, up 19 pounds from 2015; Arkansas’ 1,088 pounds, down four from 2015; Tennessee’s 1,018, up 18 from 2015; and Louisiana’s, 960, down 64 from 2015.
For more on the cotton picture, visit the National Cotton Council’s Cotton Economic Review at http://bit.ly/2cn5CBq.
To see today’s USDA-NASS report, visit http://www.usda.gov/nass/PUBS/TODAYRPT/crop0916.pdf.