USDA tweaks corn, soybean production estimates

USDA released its updated Crop Production report on Nov. 9. U.S. corn production is forecast at 10.7 billion bushels, up slightly from the October forecast, but down 13% from 2011 and the lowest U.S. production since 2006. Area harvested for grain is forecast at 87.7 million acres, unchanged from the October forecast and up 4% from 2011. 

Based on conditions as of Nov. 1, yields are expected to average 122.3 bushels per acre, up 0.3 bushel from the October forecast, but 24.9 bushels below the 2011 average. If realized, this will be the lowest average yield since 1995. The Nov. 1 corn objective yield data indicate the lowest number of ears per acre since 2005 for the combined 10 objective yield states (Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin). 

According to USDA’s World Ag Supply & Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, released simultaneously with the Crop Production report, the season-average farm price for corn, at $6.95-$8.25/bushel, is projected 20¢  lower at the midpoint, mostly reflecting a lower-than-expected September price and the continuation of weakness in cash and deferred futures prices over the past month.


U.S. soybean production is forecast at 2.97 billion bushels, up 4% from October, but down 4% from last year. U.S. area for harvest is forecast at 75.7 million acres, unchanged from October and up 3% from last year.

Based on Nov. 1 conditions, yields are expected to average 39.3 bushels per acre, up 1.5 bushels from last month, but down 2.6 bushels from last year. Compared with last month, yield forecasts are higher or unchanged across all states except for Oklahoma and Texas.  

The November objective yield data for the combined 11 major soybean-producing states (Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio and South Dakota) indicate a lower pod count compared with last year, as hot, dry weather during bloom hampered development of the crop in many areas. Compared with final counts for 2011, pod counts are down in all 11 states. The largest declines from 2011’s final pod counts are expected in Illinois, Missouri, and Nebraska, all down more than 500 pods per 18 square feet. 

Looking at other states, the forecasted yield in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia will be a record high. 

According to USDA’s WASDE report, prices for soybeans and products are all reduced this month. The U.S. season-average soybean price range is projected at $13.90-$15.90/bushel, down 35¢ on both ends of the range. The soybean meal price is projected at $455-$485/ton, down $15 on both ends of the range.


The Crop Production report did not update dry hay or cottonseed production estimates.


To find the full Crop Production report, visit

To find the full WASDE report, visit