Corn and soybean yields still expanding

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Farm Forum

8/23/16 — Corn and soybean yield models are still expanding, this week moving up significantly in spite of flooding in Louisiana. Soybean yield models expanded by 0.60 bu/acre to 48.05, while corn expanded 1.8 bu/acre to 176.3 bu/acre. The soybean yield is still below the very high USDA number for August of 48.9 bu/acre, but the rapid hikes only need to continue for another week or two to be in striking distance of those yields. The corn yield expanded above USDA’s yield estimate of 175.1 bu/acre, so that is likely to be hiked in future reports.

Crop progress reports out yesterday indicated another improvement in crop conditions for corn of 1% to 75% G/E, now well above last year’s 69% rating. The Pro Ag yield model rose 1.8 bu/acre to 176.3 bu/acre, now above USDA’s 175.1 bu/acre and showing it still can climb fairly dramatically. Soybean conditions also were good, with 1% moving from Good to excellent (still 72% rated G/E). That moved the soybean yield model up dramatically, too, by 0.60 bu/acre to 48.05 bu/acre. Now the August USDA yield estimate is in reach of 48.9 bu/acre, as with 2 more weeks of that kind of yield hike we’d be right there with USDA estimating that high of a soybean crop. While USDA was very forward thinking to put the yield that high, perhaps in the end they’ll get lucky and weather will cooperate and improve the crop enough to actually finish that high.

Corn is 85% in the dough stage vs. 76% normally, and 40% is dented vs. 35% normally. Soybeans are 89% setting pods vs. 85% normally. In fact, almost all crops are ahead of normal development in the U.S. HRS wheat is 65% harvested vs. 46% normally, while barley harvested is 70% vs. 52% normally. Oats is 89% harvested vs. 82% normally so most crops are ahead of normal development due to the warm summer and early planting.

Sorghum is 89% headed vs. 81% normally, with 52% coloring vs. 43% normally at this time so sorghum is even now ahead of normal development. Sorghum is 29% mature vs. 28% normally, and conditions are unchanged at 65% rated G/E vs. 68% last year at this time.

Notably, cotton is also ahead of normal development with 92% setting bolls vs. 89% normally, with 16% bolls opening vs. 15% normally. Cotton conditions dropped 1% to 47% rated G/E, down from 53% last year at this time.

Soil moisture levels were restored last week in many areas, as topsoil moisture is now rated 73% adequate/surplus, vs. 68% last week and 67% last year at this time. Subsoil is 73% rated adequate/surplus, up from 69% last week and last year. So with soil moisture levels pretty good, it’s unlikely drought will have much more impact in 2016 on crop yields. With moderate temps forecast as well, perhaps the time to hurt the 2016 crop has already been passed for the most part.

Weather forecasts call for a little more precip in the 14 day forecast today vs. yesterday, with most of it in the central corn belt in the next 7 days. Temps are forecast to be slightly above normal for the entire 14 day forecast, which will help to mature crops and finish them off for 2016. With soil moisture plentiful to end August, there is little additional stress expected to be put on crops. With the improvement in conditions and yield models this week, it’s likely the crop will finish with both a record yielding corn and soybean crop.

Soybeans hit the $10.20 Nov. area yesterday, 8/22 where bean growers can make catch up sales (we finished just fractionally below that). We continue to target the $3.20 area for corn and $9 Nov. soybeans area on the low side of prices, at which Pro Ag would target removing some hedges.