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USDA AUGUST 10 CROP REPORT

Written by: Kent Thiesse

Due to the severe drought affecting much of the major corn and soybean producing areas of the United States, the August 10 USDA Crop Report was very highly anticipated. A large percentage of the primary crop growing areas in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, and Kansas are in severe to extreme drought conditions, with major reductions in crop yields. Portions of Wisconsin, North and South Dakota, Ohio, and Southern Minnesota have also experienced some drought conditions. The USDA crop estimates were based on crop conditions as of August 1, and the USDA Crop Report verified the severity of the 2012 drought.

 

The USDA Crop Report issued on August 10 estimated the 2012 total U.S. corn production to be 10.8 billion bushels, which would be the smallest total production since 2006. This compares to a total corn production of 12.3 billion bushels in 2011, and 13.1 billion bushels in 2009. Based on August 1 conditions, USDA is estimating total harvested corn acreage in the U.S. for 2012 at 87.4 million acres, which is down 2 percent from June 1 estimates, but is still 4 percent above the 2011 level of nearly 84 million harvested corn acres. Some experts feel that the total number of harvested corn acres in 2012 may decline even further as more corn acres become abandoned due to the extreme drought conditions in some areas.   

 

In the August 10 Crop Report, USDA projected a 2012 national average corn yield of 123.4 bushels per acre, which would be the lowest national average corn yield since 1995. The national average corn yield was 147.2 bushels per acre in 2011 and 152.8 bushels per acre in 2010. Earlier this year, before the onset of the dramatic drought conditions, USDA had estimated a national average corn yield as high as 166 bushels per acre, and total U.S. corn production at 14.7 billion bushels. The projected corn yield in the August Report was lowered by 15 percent, or 22.6 bushels per acre, compared to the July Report, due to the rapidly deteriorating crop conditions resulting from the drought. Some experts feel that the national average corn yield could drop even lower, once harvest is completed. 

 

Minnesota is the only major corn producing State in the U.S. that is projected to have an average 2012 corn yield above 150 bushels per acre. Minnesota’s average corn yield for 2012 is pegged at 155 bushels per acre by USDA, which  almost the same as the final 2011 average corn yield of 156 bushels per acre, but is well below the record average corn yield in Minnesota of 177 bushels per acre in 2010,  or the 174 bushels per acre in 2009. Minnesota is being heavily counted on to help stabilize the final national corn yield.

 

USDA is now projecting Iowa’s 2012 average corn yield at 141 bushels per acre, which compares to 172 bushels per acre in 2011 and 165 bushels per acre in 2010. The 2011 USDA corn yield estimates for the other major corn producing States are Illinois at 116 bushels per acre, compared to 157 bushels per acre in 2011; Indiana at 100 bushels per acre, compared to 146 bushels per acre in 2011; and Nebraska at 147 bushels per acre, compared to 160 bushels per acre in 2011. A couple of other States of note include South Dakota with a projected 2012 average corn yield of 98 bushels per acre, compared to 132 bushels per acre in 2011, and Wisconsin with an estimated 2012 corn yield of 132 bushels per acre, compared to 156 bushels per acre in 2011. It should be noted that in many States the 2011 yields were also reduced below trend line yields, due to very dry conditions late in the growing season.

 

The USDA Report on August 10 also indicated a much lower level of soybean production in the U.S. in 2012, compared to 2011 production levels. USDA is estimating 2012 total U.S. soybean production at 2.69 billion bushels, which is approximately 12 percent below the 2011 total soybean production of 3.06 billion bushels. The 2011 total production was 8 percent below 2010 total U.S. soybean production levels. USDA is now estimating total 2012 harvested soybean acreage at 74.6 million acres, which is up from 73.6 million acres in 2011.

 

The U.S. average soybean yield for 2012 is estimated at 36.1 bushels per acre, which down from 41.5 bushels per acre in 2011 and is well below the record U.S. soybean yield of 44.0 bushels per acre in 2009. If realized, the 2012 national average soybean yield would be the lowest since 2003, which will put a considerable strain on available soybean stocks in the U.S. and worldwide in the coming year.

 

Soybean yields in 2012 are expected to decrease in most of the major soybean producing States, including Iowa, where the projected 2012 yield is 43 bushels per acre, compared to 50.5 bushels per acre in 2011. USDA is estimating Minnesota to have only a minor reduction in the 2012 soybean yield at 38 bushels per acre, which compares to 38.5 bushels per acre in 2011, but is significantly lower than the 2010 average soybean yield of 45 bushels per acre. Other projected 2012 soybean yields are Illinois at 37 bushels per acre, compared to 47 bushels per acre in 2011; Indiana at 37 bushels per acre, compared to 45 bushels per acre in 2011; Nebraska at 43 bushels per acre, compared to 53.5 bushels per acre in 2011; and South Dakota at 31 bushels per acre, compared to 37 bushels per acre in 2011.

 

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Note --- For additional information contact Kent Thiesse, Farm Management Analyst and

              Vice President, MinnStar Bank, Lake Crystal, MN. (Phone --- (507) 381-7960) ; 

              E-mail --- kent.thiesse@minnstarbank.com)  Web Site --- http://www.minnstarbank.com/