The much anticipated USDA August crop production report was released Monday.
Myriad “what-ifs” were raised in advance of the report’s release, as agriculture experts and state and federal policy makers gathered at Farmfest this past week.
Most agreed how the report came out was going to play a big part in everything from per bushel prices to export projections.
The underlying theme of those discussions is what came to the top – the projections made earlier in the year were likely going to be reduced based on a few important factors, especially the weather.
Late planting and prevented planting in areas where rainfall was significant during the months of April and May meant farmers in many locations were not able to get in the field. That meant fields were planted late and some not at all, which would have an impact on the overall yield potential.
So, what did the crop report announce Monday?
According to the USDA report, corn production is going to be up 28 percent from 2012, with a forecast of 13.8 billion bushels.
“If realized, this will be a new record production for the United States,” the report says.
The corn yield projection is down from earlier forecasts, though.
The previous USDA crop production report indicated closer to 14 billion bushels of corn was going to be harvested in 2013.
In Minnesota, the forecasted planted corn acreage has been reduced from that of 2012 and from the initial 2103 projections based primarily on weather conditions at planting time.
Regions of the state, especially in the southeast, saw significant reduction in corn acres planted this season due to the fact that rainfall kept producers out of the field.
The crop production report states the per acre corn yield should be in the 154.4 bushels range, which would be the highest average yield in five years.
Corn in many areas of the nation looks very good, as ideal conditions have allowed the corn plants to thrive, and some anticipate even in Minnesota despite the lack of planted acres the corn crop is still going to be one of the best in recent history.
The U.S. soybean crop is forecasted to yield 3.26 billion bushels, which USDA reports is up 8 percent from 2012.
“If realized production would be the third largest on record,” the report states.
The report also states “based on Aug. 1 conditions, yields are expected to average 42.6 bushels per acre, up three bushels from last year.”
In Minnesota the projected number of soybean acres which are going to be harvested in 2013 is less than that of 2012, again due to the weather conditions at planting time.
The market reacted as most expected as a result of the crop production report, with both prices for beans and corn rising early in the week.
Page 2 of 2 - According to Mead-owland Cooperative in Lamberton, the cash price at the time this edition went to print was $5.65 for corn and $13.93 for soybeans.
While the USDA report provides direction for the market, those who have been involved in this process know the report is solely based on forecasts and are not hard and fast numbers.
Those numbers only come when the crops are actually in the bin.
The August report is based on objective yield and farm operator surveys conducted be-tween July 24 and Aug. 6, with more than 24,000 producers interviewed. Find more about the report online at www.usda.gov.