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USDA lowers production forecasts for corn, soybeans and wheatUSDA lowers production forecasts for corn, soybeans and wheat
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By Ron Sterk
WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture in its Nov. 8 Crop Production report forecast 2019 U.S. production of corn at 13.661 billion bushels, down 0.9% from the October forecast and down 5% from 2018. Soybean production was forecast at 3.550 billion bushels, down 304,000 bushels from October and down 20% from last year.
Average corn yield, based on Nov. 1 conditions, was forecast at 167 bushels an acre, down 1.4 bushels from October and down 9.4 bushels from 2018. Corn harvested area was forecast at 81.815 million acres, unchanged from October but up slightly from 2018.
The average soybean yield was forecast at 46.9 bushels an acre, unchanged from October but down 3.7 bushels from last year. Harvested area was forecast at 75.626 million acres, unchanged from October but down 14% from 2018.
If realized, corn production would be the lowest since 13.602 billion bushels in 2015. Record high production of 15.148 billion bushels was harvested in 2016. Soybean production would be the lowest since 3.357 billion bushels in 2013 with record high outturn of 4.428 billion bushels in 2018.
The USDA corn production and soybean yield and production forecasts all were above the average of pre-report trade expectations while the corn yield forecast was below the average. The trade had expected the USDA to lower harvested area for both corn and soybeans, but those numbers were left unchanged.
Nearby Chicago corn futures were modestly higher while soybean futures were lower after the 11:00 a.m. Central time release of the report. Minneapolis spring wheat futures also were higher.
Because of late harvest of the spring wheat and durum crops in the Upper Midwest, the USDA resurveyed farmers in some states and revised wheat estimates from its September Small Grains 2019 Summary. Winter wheat estimates were not revised.
Production of spring wheat other than durum was estimated at 562.38 million bushels, down 6% from the September summary and down 10% from 2018. Durum outturn was estimated at 53.756 million bushels, down 7% from September and down 31% from last year. As a result, all wheat production was estimated at 1.92 billion bushels, down 2.1% from September but up 1.9% from 2018 due to higher winter wheat outturn.
“Due to late season precipitation and a mid-October snow, producers in Montana and North Dakota reported difficulties completing harvest activities and noted quality concerns,” the USDA said of the durum and other spring wheat crops.