The USDA  Crop Report released on Sept. 12 decreased the expected U.S. corn production  for 2011 – as compared to the August USDA estimates – and showed a slight increase in the expected 2011 soybean production , compared to the August estimates. USDA is now estimating the total 2011 corn production at 12.5 billion bushels, which is 3% below the 12.9 billion bushel estimate in August. Total U.S. corn production was 12.5 billion bushels in 2010, 13.1 billion bushels in 2009, and 12.1 billion bushels in 2008. The USDA report is estimating total soybean production in 2011 at 3.08 billion bushels, which is slight increase compared to the 3.06 billion bushel estimate in August. Total U.S. soybean production was 3.33 billion bushels in 2010, 3.36 billion bushels in 2009, and 2.96 billion bushels in 2008.
USDA is now estimating that the 2011 average corn yield in the U.S. will be 148.1 bu./acre, which would be below the 2010 U.S. corn yield of 152.8 bu., and well below the record U.S. average corn yield of 164.7 bu. in 2009. The September estimated corn yield is a decrease of 4.9 bu,/acre from the August estimate, which is the largest August to September percentage yield estimate decrease since 1995. The decreased U.S. corn yield expectations by USDA are due to some less-than-favorable weather conditions during August in many portions of the Corn Belt and the northern Great Plains. The average U.S. soybean yield for 2011 is now estimated at 41.8 bu./acre, which up slightly from the August USDA estimate of 41.4 bu. The 2011 soybean yield estimate is below the 2010 U.S. soybean yield of 43.5 bu., and the record U.S. soybean yield of 44.0 bu./acre in 2009.
Based on the Sept. 12 report, USDA is estimating the 2011 corn yield in Minnesota at 165 bu./acre, which is 1 bu. below the August estimate, and is well below the 2010 record corn yield of 177 bu. USDA is estimating the 2011 average corn yield in Iowa to be 167 bu., which is 10 bu. lower than the Aug. 1 estimate, and is just above the 2010 corn yield of 165 bu., but well below the record average state corn yield of 182 bu. in 2008. Illinois is projected to have a 2011 average corn yield of 161 bu., which is a reduction of 9 bu. from the August estimate. 2011 corn yields for Indiana are now estimated at 145 bu., a decline of 5 bu. from the August estimate, while Nebraska corn yields for 2011 are estimated at 160 bu./acre, down 6 bu. compared to the August estimate.
The Sept. 12 report estimated the 2011 Minnesota soybean yield at 41 bu./acre, which is an increase of 1 bu. from the August USDA report, but is 4 bu. lower than the 2010 state average soybean yield of 45 bu./acre, which tied a for record average state soybean yield. The projected 2011 Iowa soybean yield is projected to be down 1 bu./acre from the Aug. 1 estimate, and is now estimated at 51 bu., which would be the same as the final 2010 average soybean yield in Iowa. The estimated 2011 average soybean yield in Illinois is 48 bu., which is the same as the August estimate. Indiana average soybean yields for 2011 are estimated at 42 bu., down 1 bu. from the August estimate, while the 2011 Nebraska soybean yield is estimated at 55 bu./acre, which is up 3 bu. from the August estimate.
Projected Carryover Stocks
USDA also released the latest estimates for 2011-2012 carryover stocks of corn, soybeans, and other grains on Sept. 12. USDA is now estimating 2011-2012 U.S. corn carryover stocks at 672 million bushels, which is a decrease of 42 million bushels compared to the Aug. 1 carryover estimate, and leaves U.S. corn stocks very tight. The expected 2010-2011 final corn carryover stocks are estimated at 920 million bushels, which compares to final 2009-2010 corn carryover stocks of 1.386 billion bushels. USDA is expecting 2011-2012 soybean ending stocks to be 165 million bushels, which is up 10 million bushels from Aug. 1 estimates, and is slightly above the final 2009-2010 final soybean ending stocks of 150 million bushels, but below the expected 2010-2011 final ending stocks of 225 million bushels.
Projected carryover stocks for corn and soybeans for 2011-2012 reflect expected 2011 crop production, as well as estimated grain usages for feed use, processing, renewable fuel production, exports, and other uses. These projections are a very key fundamental in the movement of grain markets following harvest season. USDA is expecting the corn usage for feed and domestic use, for ethanol  production and for exports to decrease in 2011-2012, compared to 2010-2011, due to the expected continuation of relatively high corn price levels. This is why estimated corn ending stocks showed a very modest decline for 2011-2012, given the larger projected decline in total U.S. corn production in 2011. Any further adjustments in the estimated 2011 total U.S. corn production, or in the USDA projected corn usage levels in the coming months, would likely have an impact on corn market prices late in 2011 and early in 2012.
USDA is currently estimating the U.S average cash corn price for 2011-2012 in a range of $6.50-7.50/bu., or an average of $7, which was an increase of 30¢ from August estimates. The final U.S. average corn price is currently estimated at $5.29/bu. for 2010-2011, compared to $3.55 in 2009-2010, and $4.06 in 2008-2009. USDA is projecting the U.S. average soybean price for 2011-2012 in a range of $12.65-14.65/bu., resulting in an average soybean price of $13.65, which is an increase of 15¢ compared to August USDA estimates. Final U.S. average soybean price for 2010-2011 is currently estimated at $11.94/bu., compared to $9. for 2009-2010, and $9.97 for 2008-2009.
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]