Late harvest acres yield less, but U.S. corn farmers grew a record crop in 2013

Farm Forum

While average yield forecasts fell, U.S. farmers remain on course to produce a record corn crop according to U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates. Harvest projections were revised lower to 13.92 billion bushels as yield forecasts fell to 158.8 bushels per acre. Total production remained high as the projected acreage harvest rose by half of a million acres as farmers continued bringing in this year’s crop well past normal completion dates.

“It is important to keep in mind that the current USDA projections do not take into account the proposed reduction to the required volume obligation for ethanol under the Renewable Fuel Standard in 2014,” said National Corn Growers Association First Vice President Chip Bowling, a farmer from Newburg, Md. “As this proposed reduction is still under review, reports released today will not show the market impact of this disastrous proposal. I urge all farmers, allies and those who depend upon the economic activity agriculture generates to aid NCGA efforts to maintain markets by adding their voice to the growing outcry against the destructive lowering of ethanol volume obligations.”

The forecast area harvested now stands at 87.7 million acres, but yield projections were revised lower by 1.6 bushels per acre since the last month’s report. Both beginning stocks and ending stocks forecasts fell with current projections sitting at 821 million bushels and 1.6 billion bushels respectively.

Food and residual use projections were raised by 100 million bushels. Projected demand for feed, seed and industrial uses, ethanol use and for export held stable. At the same time, projected corn imports into the United States were raised by five million bushels for the second consecutive month. The season-average farm price held at $4.40 per bushel, continuing a fall sharply from the record $6.70 to $7.10 the prior year.