On Friday, the USDA estimated average US corn yield to be 165.3 bpa and soybean yield to average 45.2 bpa. But, with pollination just beginning, these yield numbers may be suspect. USDA continues to paint a very rosy picture of the US corn and soybean crop, but heavy rains and storms in many areas have farmers telling a different story.
University of Illinois economist Scott Irwin says we still have a long way to go and the heavy rains may trim those numbers, “The heavy rains in June were a real wild card for the Western Corn Belt. There are some real question marks about growing conditions in some key areas of the Corn Belt.” Irwin says in past years, when we have had heavy rains across the corn belt, big yields have not materialized, “In the last 5 decades we have never had one of those super high national yields when we have had such extreme precipitation in June. Not to say it could not happen, but it would be unprecedented.”
Tom Fritz, with EFG Group in Chicago, says the fact that the USDA left the yield figures unchanged could mean we could be see higher yield numbers come the next report on Aug 12, “A lot of folks expected the USDA to raise the yield numbers but the fact that they did not could mean this crop will get even bigger.” Fritz points out, however, that no matter what the yield is, it is the supply side of the equation that will drive the market, “Right now, demand projections are not keeping up with supply projections.”