USDA projects record high production for corn in WASDE report

By Derrick Cain

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, Nov. 8, 2013 - The USDA is projecting record high production for corn while also expecting higher production for wheat and soybean, the department said today in its World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report.

Corn production is forecast at 146 million bushels higher for a record 13,989 million bushels for 2013/14 - 7 percent larger than the previous record. A 1.9-million-acre reduction in harvested area is more than offset by a 5.1-bushel-per-acre increase in the forecast yield. The report anticipates the yield to average 160.4 per acre.

“Despite a late planted crop and July and August dryness across much of the Corn Belt, cooler-than-normal summer temperatures and an extended growing season have supported higher-than-expected yields for most producers,” the report said. “Higher yields are forecast this month across the Plains, Corn Belt, and South.”

Bob Dinneen, president and chief executive officers of the Renewable Fuels Association, said this year's corn crop “a tremendous accomplishment.”

“It is truly remarkable that the second-best yield in history was achieved despite an extremely late, wet planting season and the so-called ‘flash drought' late in the summer,” Dinneen said. “This year's yield and record crop highlight the astonishing innovation and technological change occurring in agriculture.”

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Tom Buis, chief executive officer of Growth Energy, also lauded the increased projections for corn production.

“It is clear from this report that the food versus fuel debate over the U.S. renewable fuel policy can be put to bed,” Buis said. “Our farmers have once again proven we can produce abundant quantities of high quality food, feed, fiber and renewable fuel.”

More good news for the corn sector came from today's release of the USDA's Crop Production report, which said yields are expected to average 160.4 bushels per acre, up 5.1 bushels from the previous forecast and 37.0 bushels above the 2012 average.

The WASDE report said projected U.S. wheat supplies for 2013/14 are raised 26 million bushels with higher estimated production and an increase in expected imports.

The report further anticipates soybean production at 3.258 billion bushels, up 109 million as higher yields more than offset lower harvested area. Harvested area is reduced 0.7 million acres to 75.7 million. Also, the forecasts for total red meat and poultry production for both 2013 and 2014 are lowered from September.

The WASDE report was not published in October due to the federal government shutdown.

Summarized information on prices, production, and exports from the WASDE report is below:

Wheat: Projected U.S. wheat supplies for 2013/14 are raised 26 million bushels with higher estimated production and an increase in expected imports. Production was raised 14 million bushels in the Sept. 30 Small Grains report. Production is further raised 2 million bushels for Hard Red Spring (HRS) wheat. Imports are projected 10 million bushels higher with larger supplies in Canada and stronger food use expected for HRS wheat. The projected range for the 2013/14 season-average wheat farm price is narrowed 20 cents on each end to $6.70 to $7.30 per bushel. Global 2013/14 wheat supplies are lowered 0.8 million tons as a decline in global output more than offsets higher beginning stocks, mostly in the European Union.

Coarse Grains: Projected U.S. feed grain supplies for 2013/14 are raised with higher estimated beginning stocks and increases in corn and sorghum production with the November Crop Production report. Corn production is forecast 146 million bushels higher at a record 13,989 million bushels. A 1.9-million-acre reduction in harvested area is more than offset by a 5.1-bushel-per-acre increase in the forecast yield. At 160.4 bushels per acre, the national average yield remains 4.3 bushels per acre below the record in 2009/10. U.S. corn supplies for 2013/14 are projected 307 million bushels higher at a record 14,837 million bushels. Total corn use is raised 275 million bushels, offsetting much of the supply increase. Corn exports are projected 175 million bushels higher with larger supplies and lower prices. The projected season-average farm price range for corn is lowered 30 cents at both ends to $4.10 to $4.90 per bushel. Corn use for ethanol production is lowered 17 million bushels for 2012/13 and 9 million bushels for 2011/12.

Rice: All rice supplies for 2013/14 are increased nearly 3.2 million cwt or 1 percent from the September forecast due entirely to an increase in production. U.S. all rice production in 2013/14 is forecast at 188.7 million cwt, 3.7 million or 2 percent above the September forecast due to an increase in yield. Average all rice yield is estimated at a record 7,660 pounds per acre, up 149 pounds per acre from the September estimate. Harvested area is unchanged at 2.46 million acres. The 2013/14 long-grain rice season-average farm price range is projected at $14.50 to $15.50 per cwt, up 50 cents on each end of the range from last month.

Oilseeds: U.S. oilseed production for 2013/14 is projected at 96.4 million tons, up 3.3 million from the September estimate due to increased soybean, peanut, cottonseed, and canola production. Soybean production is forecast at 3.258 billion bushels, up 109 million as higher yields more than offset lower harvested area. The soybean yield is projected at 43.0 bushels per acre, up 1.8 bushels. The U.S. season-average soybean price range for 2013/14 is projected at $11.15 to $13.15 per bushel, down $0.35 on both ends of the range.

Sugar: Projected U.S. sugar supply for fiscal year 2013/14 is increased 115,000 short tons, raw value, from last month, as higher production more than offsets lower imports and beginning stocks. Projected sugar production is increased based on higher forecast sugar crop yields. Imports from Mexico are lowered slightly, as Mexico exports more to non-U.S. markets.

Livestock, Poultry, and Dairy: The forecasts for total red meat and poultry production for both 2013 and 2014 are lowered from September. For 2013, the beef production is nearly unchanged as a lower third-quarter estimate is largely offset by higher expected fourth-quarter production. Pork production is reduced from last month based on third-quarter data and a lower-than-expected pace of slaughter in October and early November. The 2013 milk production forecast is reduced from September, reflecting slower growth in third-quarter production.

Cotton: This month's U.S. cotton forecasts for 2013/14 show higher production, offtake, and ending stocks compared with the September report. Production is raised nearly 2 percent to 13.1 million bales, due mainly to increases for the Delta and Southeast.

Meanwhile, the USDA's Crop Production report contains estimates and forecasts that were originally scheduled for release in its October, but also was delayed due to the government shutdown.

That report said corn production is forecast at 14.0 billion bushels, up 1 percent from the previous forecast and up 30 percent from 2012. If realized, this will be a new record production for the United States. Based on conditions as of Nov. 1, yields are expected to increase up to 5.1 bushels from the previous forecast and 37.0 bushels above the 2012 average. If realized, this will be the highest average yield since 2009. Area harvested for grain is forecast at 87.2 million acres, down 2 percent from the previous forecast and down slightly from 2012.

Soybean production is forecast at 3.26 billion bushels, up 3 percent from the previous forecast and up 7 percent from last year. If realized, production will be the third largest on record.

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