Record corn crop coming, USDA says; soybean production may fall

By Daniel Enoch

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, May 10, 2016 - USDA on Tuesday projected a record corn crop of 14.4 billion bushels, up 829 million from last year and 214 million bushels more than the previous high in 2014.

In a monthly report, the department projected an average yield for the nation's biggest crop of 168 bushels per acre, down 0.4 bushels from last year. However, the lower yield was more than offset by a 5.6 million-acre increase in estimated plantings. Unsold supplies at the end of the marketing year on Aug. 31, 2017, are estimated at 2.153 billion bushels, up from 1.803 billion in the current year.

Exports for 2016-2017 are projected at 1.9 billion bushels, up from 1.725 billion.

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The average cash price for a bushel of corn during the crop year is forecast at $3.30 a bushel, down from $3.60.

Some other highlights from today's report:

-- Soybean production is projected at 3.8 billion bushels, down 129 million from the 2015 crop on lower harvested area (down 500,000 acres from a year ago) and trend yields. Supplies are projected at 4,23 billion bushels, up 1.9 percent from 2015 with higher beginning stocks more than offsetting lower production. The average price at the farm gate for the year starting Sept. 1 is estimated at $8.60 a bushel, down from $8.85 in 2015.

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--All wheat production is forecast at 1.998 billion bushels down 3 percent from a year earlier, due to a sharp decrease in planted acres that more than offset a 7 percent jump in the estimated national yield (46.7 bushels per acre).

--Rice production is seen at 231 million hundredweight (cwt), up 38.7 million cwt from the previous year and the largest since 2010.

USDA notes that because spring planting is still underway in some areas, today's projections are “highly tentative.”

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