The USDA  Crop Production Report released Jan. 12 indicates that the total U.S. corn  and soybean  crop in 2011 will decline from production levels in 2010. The final average yield per acre in 2011 is also expected be lower than the national corn and soybean yields of 2010. Following are some highlights of the latest USDA Crop Report, as well as the latest supply and demand (WADSE) reports.
According to the Jan. 12 report, the total U.S, corn production  for 2011 is estimated at just under 12.4 billion bushels, a decline of about 1% from the 2010 total corn production of slightly above 12.4 billion bushels. The total U.S. corn production in other recent years was 13.1 billion bushels in 2009, 12.1 billion bushels in 2008, and 13.0 billion bushels in 2007. The 91.9 million corn acres planted in 2011, compares to 88.2 million acres in 2010, and was the second highest on record in the U.S. since 1949, trailing only the 93.5 million acres of corn planted in 2007.
According to the report, total corn stocks in the U.S. on Dec. 1, 2011, were projected at 9.64 billion bushels, which compares to 10.0 billion bushels on Dec. 1, 2010, and 10.9 billion bushels in 2009. The projected corn ending stocks for 2011-2012 are estimated at 846 million bushels, which is below the 2010-2011 estimated ending stocks of 1,128 bu., and less than half of the corn ending stocks of over 1.7 billion bushels for 2009-2010. USDA is projecting that total U.S. corn use for 2011-2012 will be approximately 12.65 billion bushels of corn for livestock feed, ethanol , food products, seed , exports, etc., which is down from slightly over 13 billion bushels in both 2010-2011 and 2009-2010. The current corn stocks-to-use ratio for 2011-2012 is at about 7%, which is still quite low, even though it is slightly higher than 2010-2011 estimates at this time a year ago. USDA is now estimating the U.S on-farm corn price for 2011-2012 in a range of $5.70-6.70/bu., or an average price of $6.20, which is a decrease of 20¢/bu. from December estimates. This compares to an estimated average farm price of $5.18 for 2010-2011 and $3.55 for 2009-2010.
According to the Jan. 12 report, total U.S. soybean production  in 2011 is expected to be 3.06 billion bushels, which is well below the production level of 3.33 billion bushels in 2010. The total U.S. soybean production in other recent years was a record of 3.36 billion bushels in 2009, 2.97 billion bushels in 2008, and 2.58 billion bushels in 2007. The total harvested soybean acreage in 2011 was a record of 73.6 million acres, down from the record of 76.6 million acres in 2010, and compared to 76.4 million acres in 2009.
The USDA Report estimated total U.S. soybean stocks on Dec. 1, 2011, at 2.37 billion bushels, which is up 4% from the soybean stocks on Dec. 1, 2009. The projected soybean ending stocks for 2011-2012 are estimated at 275 million bushels, which is up significantly from the carryover levels of 215 million bushels in 2010-2011 and the 151 million bushels of soybean ending stocks for 2009-2010. The current soybean stocks-to-use ratio is now above 9%, which is the highest in recent years. USDA is now estimating the U.S on-farm soybean price for 2011-12 in a range of $10.95-12.45/bu., or an average price of $11.70, which is a decrease of 25¢/bu. from December estimates. This compares to an estimated average farm price of $11.30 for 2010-11 and $9.59 for 2009-2010.
2011 Crop Yields
The national average corn yield in 2010 is projected to be 147.2 bu./acre, a decrease of 7% from the U.S. corn yield of 152.8 bu. in 2010. The 2011 U.S. corn yield compares to other recent average corn yields of 164.7 bu. in 2009, 153.9 bu. in 2008, and 150.7 bu. in 2007. The average corn yield in Minnesota in 2011 is estimated to be 156 bu./acre, which is down 12% from the record yield of 177 bu./acre in 2010. The projected 2011 Minnesota corn yield is also well below other recent state average corn yields of 174 bu. in 2009 and 164 bu. in 2008, but above the 146 bu. in 2007. Iowa had an estimated corn yield of 172 bu./acre in 2011, up from an average yield of bu. in 2010, and below the 182-bu. average yield in 2009. The average 2011 corn yields in other major corn-production states were Nebraska at 160 bu., Illinois at 157 bu. and Indiana at 146 bu.
The estimated U.S. average soybean yield in 2011 is 41.5 bu./acre, well below the 2010 U.S. soybean average yield of 43.5 bu., and the U.S. record soybean yield of 44.0 bu. in 2009. The projected 2011 average U.S. soybean yield is higher than the average soybean yield of 39.7 bu. in 2008, and similar to the 41.7 bu. in 2007. The estimated average soybean yield in Minnesota for 2011 is 38.5 bu., 14% below the state record soybean yield of 45 bu./acre, set in 2010 and 2005. The 2011 soybean yield in Minnesota was also below other recent soybean yields of 40.0 bu./acre in 2009, and 42.5 bu. in 2007, but slightly above the 38.0 bu. in 2008. The average soybean yield for 2011 in Iowa was estimated at 50.5 bu./acre, which was just below the 2010 and 2009 average yield level of 51 bu. Estimated average 2011 soybean yields in other major production states were Nebraska at 53.5 bu., Illinois at 47.0 bu. and Indiana at 45.0 bu.
Editor’s note: Kent Thiesse is a former University of Minnesota Extension educator and now is Vice President of MinnStar Bank, Lake Crystal, MN. You can contact him at 507-726-2137 or via e-mail at [email protected]