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Cut in U.S. Soybean Harvest, While Corn Production Increased- Expected to Be “the Second-Largest on Record”

Reuters writer Mark Weinraub reported yesterday that, “The U.S. government cut its forecast for the soybean crop on Tuesday after hot and dry conditions during key growth stages but raised the corn harvest view due to expectations for large acreage harvested despite adverse weather this summer.

World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates Report of September 12, 2023. Secretary’s Briefing- Interagency Commodity Estimates Committee Forecasts.

“The cut to the soybean harvest outlook will help push domestic supplies to their lowest in eight years even as surging demand for biofuel boosts the amount of soybeans required by the crush industry.

World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates Report of September 12, 2023. Secretary’s Briefing- Interagency Commodity Estimates Committee Forecasts.

“But the increase to the corn supplies from the projected second biggest U.S. harvest on record will add to the ample global stockpile stemming from a massive crop in Brazil that has stymied export demand for U.S. corn.”

Weinraub pointed out that, “The U.S. Agriculture Department in its monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report projected a soybean harvest of 4.146 billion bushels, based on an average yield of 50.1 bushels per acre. Corn production was pegged at 15.134 billion bushels, with average yields seen at 173.8 bushels per acre.”

Wall Street Journal writer Ryan Dezember reported yesterday that, “Corn futures fell to around their lowest price in more than two years after the U.S. Department of Agriculture said it expects the 2023 crop will be the second-largest on record.

“A bountiful harvest is not what agricultural forecasters had in mind earlier this summer when hot, dry weather scorched key growing regions. Timely rains late in the summer saved the season for many farmers, who planted a lot more acres with corn than the USDA had estimated.”

Reuters Columnist Karen Braun indicated today that, “Yields are often the more controversial element of U.S. corn production at this time of year, but a strong acreage adjustment from the government maintains U.S. harvest hopes near record levels despite weaker yields.

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday increased harvested corn area by 774,000 acres after a review of acreage registration data collected by USDA’s Farm Service Agency. The average trade guess called for a 120,000-acre increase and the top-end guess was 678,000.”

Braun added that, “Analysts had expected a larger increase for harvested soybean acres versus corn on Tuesday, but that was a bust as USDA’s figure landed just 95,000 acres (0.1%) higher than in June. The trade has been over-guessing soy plantings all year, including a 4-million-acre miss in June.”

And Reuters writer Zachary Goelman reported yesterday that, “Chicago soybeans plummeted to a 3-week low and corn sharply dropped on Tuesday after a government report said crops were not hampered as much as some traders had expected by hot and dry summer weather.”

The article noted that, “Benchmark CBOT December corn futures CZ3 settled down 9-1/4 cents at $4.76-1/2 a bushel. Earlier in the session, the most-actively traded corn contract Cv1 dipped to $4.73-1/2 a bushel, the lowest level since Aug. 16.

“CBOT November soybean futures SX3 ended the trading the day down 22-1/2 cents at $13.46-1/2 a bushel.”

Keith Good Photo

Keith Good is the Farm Policy News editor for the farmdoc project. He has previously worked for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, and compiled the daily News Summary from 2003-2015. He is a graduate of Purdue University (M.S.- Agricultural Economics), and Southern Illinois University School of Law.

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