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Corn, Soybean Yields Increasing?

September 22, 2012
By: Sara Schafer, Farm Journal Media Business and Crops Editor
corn harvest 2

A report released by Informa Economics shows higher levels for corn and soybean acres and yields. Jerry Gulke analyzes the new data.

On Friday, Informa Economics adjusted its 2012 acreage estimates, based on the latest USDA Farm Service Agency certified acreage data.

The group increased its planted corn acreage estimate to 97.2 million and raised its planted soybean acreage estimate to 77.1 million.

Informa reportedly estimates the 2012 corn crop at 11.093 billion bu. with a yield of 126.6 bu. per acre and soybean production at 2.663 billion bu. with a yield of 35.2 bu. per acre.

USDA’s current corn production is forecast 10.7 billion bushels, with an average yield of 122.8 bu. per acre, Soybean production is forecast at 2.63 billion bushels, with an average yield 35.3 bu. per acre.

For 2013, the group estimates corn acreage at 97.5 and soybean acreage at 79.9 million.
Jerry Gulke, president of the Gulke Group, says the report had little impact on the markets. "It’s nothing that we didn’t expect. Normally the market doesn’t really react until they see it written in blood on the wall."

He says the estimates are suggesting the U.S. won’t lose any corn acres for next year.
"We planted just about every acre we could this year. Now they are assuming we’ll plant every pothole or acre we can from Canada all the way to Texas."

Gulke says the U.S. is at full production, in terms of planted acres. "You’ll have a hard time finding any more acres in the United States. Now it is up to the rest of the world to bring in new acres."

Farmer Yield Reports

USDA has lowered its national corn yield estimate steadily in recent months. Even though USDA current expectation is down to 122.8 bu. per acre, farmer reports to AgWeb’s Corn Harvest Map are still coming in lower.

As of Friday, Sept. 21, 422 harvest reports were submitted to the interactive map, which account for 148,085 acres. The current average yield is 95.18 bu. per acre.

For soybeans, only 50 reports have been made to AgWeb's Soybean Harvest Map, which account for 10,064 acres. The current average yield is 37.93 bu. per acre, which is higher than Informa and USDA’s estimates.

Gulke was harvesting soybeans this week. He is amazed by the incredible variability on his acres. "Within one of my fields, yields varied 20%. Five miles away yields varied 30% in the same field."

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