January 23, 2020

USDA Production Estimates

As news articles and reports regarding food prices, ethanol use and grain stock supplies appear with greater frequency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released two important reports on Friday that shed additional light on supply and demand estimates for important agricultural commodities.

In addition, the USDA numbers provide a firm foundation for assessing some aspects of the agricultural economy as policy makers consider changes to U.S. farm policy.

On Friday, the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released their October Crop Production report, which indicated that, “Corn production is forecast at 13.3 billion bushels, up slightly from last month and 26 percent above 2006. Based on conditions as of October 1, yields are expected to average 154.7 bushels per acre, down 1.1 bushels from September but 5.6 bushels above last year. If realized, this would be the second highest yield on record, behind the 160.4 bushel yield in 2004. Production would be the largest on record as growers expect to harvest the most corn acres for grain since 1933.”

(Illinois Corn Harvest, FarmPolicy Photo).

With respect to soybeans, NASS estimated that, “Soybean production is forecast at 2.60 billion bushels, down less than 1 percent from the September forecast and down 19 percent from last year’s record high. Based on October 1 conditions, yields are expected to average 41.4 bushels per acre, unchanged from last month but down 1.3 bushels from last year.”

For historic context with respect to corn production, see this graph; for soybean production, just click here.