In Tuesday’s USDA report, corn production is forecast at 14.0 billion bushels. Yields are expected to average 167.4 bushels per acre, up 8.6 bushels from 2013. Soybean production is forecast at a record 3.82 billion bushels, up 16 percent from last year with yields expected to average a record high 45.4 bushels per acre. Indiana corn yields are forecast to be above the national average.
Indiana is forecast to set a new record high corn yield at 179 bpa with an estimated state production of 1.05 billion bushels, the second year in a row the Hoosier state has produced over a billion bushels of corn. Hoosier soybean yields are forecast to equal last year’s level at 51 bpa which will equal 279 million bushels of production. Winter wheat yield is estimated at 73 bushels per acre, even with last year’s record high. Winter wheat production is forecast at 26.3 million bushels.
While yields are good, the lower prices that will result will mean financial stress for most farming operations. At the annual crop report analysis program at the State Fair, Purdue Ag Economist Chris Hurt says profit margins will be squeezed this year, “The revenues will be down sharply this year; crop farmers’ incomes could fall 25-30 percent.” Hurt predicts that corn and soybean prices will continue to move lower as we approach harvest, “This report will not give us new lows; but, if the September and October reports show an increase in corn yields, we could see new low prices.” Hurt said if the National average yield tops 170 bpa, corn prices could dip as low as $3.20 a bushel.
Extension agronomist Dr. Bob Nielsen says it is likely that corn yields will increase over the next few weeks, “It is a good-looking crop – good potential – but it needs to finish strong to realize that potential.” He added, if the weather does not produce any extreme stresses on the crop, yields will increase between now and harvest. Despite the cool weather, the crop is about on track for a normal harvest beginning in mid-September.
Purdue soybean specialist Shaun Casteel said soybeans had a “rough start” with problems involving stand establishment and herbicide injury and cool weather that delayed its development. But he noted that the crop progressed to the point where it, too, is now ahead of the five-year average in development. “As we look to finish this crop, August and September makes the difference,” he said. “There are lots of opportunities in the next 30 – 45 days to finish off this crop.”