Private Crop Forecasters Emerging

Private crop forecasts are starting to emerge ahead of next week's USDA production numbers due on Aug 12. The USDA will also issue a revised corn planted acreage estimate then too, but not one for soybeans.

F C Stone pegged this season's US corn crop at 12.814 billion bushels and the soybean
crop at 3.247 billion bu.

Another private firm, Doane Advisory Services, yesterday pegged the corn crop at 12.312 billion bushels and soybean production at 3.225 billion.

That compares to last month's figures from the USDA of 12.29 billion for corn and 3.26 billion for beans.

F C Stone are now using a corn yield of 160 bushels/acre, whilst Doane come in significantly lower at 155.6 bu/acre. F C Stone have the average soybean yield at 42.4 bushels/acre and Doane 42 bu/acre.

The USDA last month was using a corn yield of 153.4 bu/acre and a soy yield of 42.6 bu/acre.

It is interesting to see that both private estimates are lower for soybeans and higher for corn than July's USDA numbers, yet the trade is anticipating a reduction in corn plantings by half a million acres.

A reduction in corn acres also would imply an increase in soybean area, although the USDA, in their infinite wisdom, won't be issuing a revised planting figure for beans.

Widely quoted pundit, Darrell Good of the University of Illinois, last month said that corn yields could come in over 160 bu/acre, and beans close to 45 bu/acre given favourable August weather.

Is the forecast "heat up" next week a threat, as some of the newswires are saying? Well, the crops don't seem to be lacking moisture and some heat would probably speed up development a little I'd say, helping things catch up with the five year average.

Last night's crop conditions report didn't appear to show development for corn and beans as far behind schedule as I'd have thought. I wouldn't expect a warm-up to cause too much stress at all, indeed it could be beneficial, and take away some of the early frost worries too.