The Oct. 10 USDA Crop Report showed an increase for both U.S. corn and soybean yields, as compared to September report. This corresponds closely to actual corn and soybean yields being reported from many areas of the eastern and southern Corn Belt, which have been better than expected, given the very favorable growing conditions in 2014. Crop yields in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest have been much more variable, due to the variety of adverse weather conditions that impacted this year’s crop. The increased U.S. corn and soybean yields in the latest USDA report was somewhat offset by reductions in the estimated harvested acreage for both crops, but still resulted in increases in the expected total 2014 crop production levels, as compared to the September Report.
USDA is now estimating the total 2014 corn production at the record level of 14.7 billion bushels, which is well above the 13.9 billion bushels produced in 2013. Total U.S. corn production was 10.8 billion bushels in the drought year of 2012, 12.3 billion bushels in 2011, and 12.5 billion bushels in 2010. The 2014 average U.S. corn yield is now estimated at the record level of 174.2 bushels per acre, which is an increase of 2.5 bushels per acre from the September estimate, and 6.8 bushels per acre above the August yield estimate. The 2014 projected national average corn yield is well above recent U.S. corn yields of 158.8 bushels per acre in 2013, 123.4 bushels per acre in 2012, and 147.2 bushels per acre in 2011. The previous record U.S. average corn yield was 164.7 bushels per acre in 2009.
The USDA report estimated total soybean production in 2014 at a record level of 3.93 billion bushels, which is an increase of 17 percent from the 2013 production level of 3.36 billion bushels. Other recent U.S. soybean production levels were 3.01 billion bushels in 2012, 3.06 billion bushels in 2011, and 3.33 billion bushels in 2010. The average U.S. soybean yield for 2014 is now projected at the record level of 47.1 bushels per acre, which is an increase from the September USDA estimate of 46.6 bushels per acre. The 2014 U.S. soybean yield estimate compares to the previous record of 44.0 bushels per acre in 2013, 39.6 bushels per acre in 2012, and 41.5 bushels per acre in 2011.
USDA is estimating the 2014 corn yield in Minnesota at 170 bushels per acre, which is the same as the September estimate. The 2014 Minnesota anticipated corn yield is well above the final 2013 average MN corn yield of 160 bushels per acre, but is still below the 2010 record corn yield of 177 bushels per acre. USDA is now estimating the 2014 average corn yield in Iowa to be at the record level of 185 bushels per acre, which is considerably higher the 2013 corn yield of 165 bushels per acre. Illinois is projected to have a record 2014 average corn yield of 200 bushels per acre, compared to 178 bushels per acre in 2013. Other 2014 estimated corn yields are 186 bushels per acre for Indiana, compared to 177 bushels per acre in 2013; 181 bushels per acre in Nebraska, compared to 170 bushels per acre in 2013; and 151 bushels per acre in South Dakota, compared to 138 bushels per acre in 2013.
The report estimated the 2014 Minnesota soybean yield at 42 bushels per acre, which is the same as the September estimate, and the same as the final 2013 soybean yield. The 2014 statewide estimated soybean yield is below the 2010 state record average yield of 45 bushels per acre. The projected 2014 Iowa soybean yield is estimated at 51 bushels per acre, which compares to an average yield of 45.5 bushels per acre in 2013. Other projected 2014 state average soybean yields are Illinois at 56 bushels per acre, compared to 50.5 bushels per acre in 2013; Indiana at 54 bushels per acre, compared to 51.5 bushels per acre in 2013; Nebraska at 53 bushels per acre, compared to 53.5 bushels per acre in 2013; and South Dakota at 43 bushels per acre, compared to 40.5 bushels per acre in 2013.
The increased projected 2014 U.S. corn production resulted in USDA increasing the expected 2014-15 corn carryout levels to 2.08 billion bushels in the latest monthly Supply and Demand Report, which is at the highest level in many years. USDA also lowered the projected 2014-15 corn price levels by a dime, to a range of $3.10-$3.70 per bushel, or an average of $3.40 per bushel. The latest USDA Report lowered the expected 2014-15 soybean carryout levels to 450 million bushels, as compared to 475 million bushels in September; however, soybean carryout levels are still the highest in several years. USDA is now estimating the 2014-15 national average soybean price in a range of $9.00-$11.00 per bushel, with an average of $10.00 per bushel, which is unchanged from the September estimates.