USDA projects record corn crop

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The September World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates from USDA, released on Sept. 12, project U.S. corn production at 13.8 billion bushels, up 80 million bushels from the August estimate and more than 3 billion bushels more than last-year’s crop. The projection is based on an average yield estimate of 155.3 bushels per acre, up from last-month’s estimate of 154.4 bushels and last-year’s average yield of $123.4 bushels per acre.

Higher yields for the Central Plains and across the South more than offset yield reductions for Iowa and North Dakota.

The agency also raised its estimate for sorghum production significantly, from 359 million bushels last month to 396 bushels in this month’s report, with the yield estimate up from 59 to 65 bushels per acre. Last year’s sorghum production was 247 million bushels.

Corn supplies for the 2013-2014 crop year are projected 18 million bushels higher than a month ago due to increased production, but projected imports are reduced 5 million bushels and beginning stocks are down 58 million bushels on lower imports and higher use projections for the current crop. Projected corn use for 2013-2014 is unchanged and the report projects ending stocks for 2013-2014 crop year at 1.85 billion bushels, 18 million bushels higher than last month’s estimate. Ending stocks for the 2012-2013 crop year are estimated at 661 million bushels.

The agency dropped its estimate for season-average farm price for corn by $0.05 per bushel to $4.40 to $5.20 for the 2013-2014 crop year. That compares with an estimated average of $6.90 per bushel for the current crop.

Soybean production is projected at 3.149 billion bushels, down 106 million from last-month’s estimate due to lower yield prospects, especially in the western Corn Belt. The soybean yield is forecast at 41.2 bushels per acre, down 1.4 from last month but up from 39.6 bushels last year.

The 2013 forecast for total red meat and poultry production is raised from last month. 2013 Beef production is raised from last month on greater cow and bull slaughter. Total beef production continues to decline year-over year, however. For 2014, the report estimates U.S. beef production at 24.1 billion pounds, down from 25.6 billion this year and 25.9 billion in 2012. The report projects an average fed-steer price this year at $123 to $126 per hundredweight and next year at $126 to $136.

The pork production forecast for 2013 is raised from last month as lower hog slaughter in the second half is more than offset by heavier average carcass weights. The report estimates 2014 pork production at 24.1 billion pounds compared with 23.4 billion this year and 23.2 billion in 2012.

Read the full WASDE report from USDA.

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MT  |  September, 13, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Economists, politicians and weathermen are the only ones who can be consistently incorrect and still remain employed. How ironic is this? These prognostications only benefit speculators. USDA's projections have changed 4 times this year and they think they are doing producers a service? Better to remain silent and thot a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

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