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November Crop Production: Crop Comments

November 9, 2010

Corn: Area harvested and to be harvested for grain is forecast at 81.3 million acres, unchanged from October but up 2 percent from the previous year. If realized, area harvested for grain will be the second largest on record since 1944, behind only the 86.5 million acres harvested in 2007.

The November 1 corn objective yield data indicate the second highest number of ears per acre on record for the combined 10 objective yield States (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin), only behind the record year of 2009. Record high ear counts are forecast in Iowa, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
 
Favorable weather conditions during the month of October led to the rapid harvesting of this year's corn crop. As of October 31, ninety-one percent of the corn acreage was harvested, 67 percentage points ahead of last year and 30 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average. Harvest was ahead of the normal pace in all 18 major producing States, with Illinois, Indiana, and Kansas all having less than 5 percent of the crop remaining in the field. Harvest was complete in Kentucky, North Carolina, and Tennessee by month's end.
 
Sorghum: Production is forecast at 338 million bushels, up fractionally from the October 1 forecast but 12 percent below last year. Area harvested for grain is forecast at 4.66 million acres, unchanged from the previous forecast but 16 percent below last year. If realized, this will be the lowest harvested acreage on record since 1936. Based on November 1 conditions, yield is forecast at 72.5 bushels per acre, up 0.1 bushel from October and up 3.1 bushels from last year. Record high yields are forecast in Louisiana and Texas.
 
Warm temperatures promoted a rapid maturity pace and by October 17, progress in Kansas and Texas, the two largest sorghum-producing States, was 23 percentage points or more ahead of last year and 11 percentage points or more ahead of the average. Toward month's end, sunny skies and dry conditions in Kansas aided the quickest harvest pace for the State since 2001.
 
Nationwide, producers had harvested 82 percent of the sorghum crop by
October 31, forty-two percentage points, or 26 days, ahead of last year and 21 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average. As harvest surpassed the midway point during the week ending October 10, sixty percent of the sorghum crop was reported in good to excellent condition, 12 percentage points better than the same time last year.
 
Rice: Production is forecast at 242 million cwt, down slightly from the October forecast but up 10 percent from last year. Area for harvest is expected to total 3.62 million acres, unchanged from October but up 17 percent from 2009. As of November 1, the average United States yield is forecast at 6,669 pounds per acre, down 18 pounds from the previous forecast and down 416 pounds from last year. Expected yield is up 200 pounds from the October forecast in California but is down 100 pounds in Arkansas. Expected yields are unchanged in Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Texas. If the forecast is realized, a new record-high yield will be achieved in Louisiana.
 
As of October 31, ninety-six percent of the United States acreage was harvested, 8 percentage points ahead of last year and 1 point ahead of the 5-year average. Harvest was complete in all States except California, where progress remained behind normal due to weather delays during the planting season. Only 75 percent of the crop in California was harvested as of October 31, compared with 95 percent last year and the 5-year average of 91 percent.
 
Soybeans: Area for harvest is forecast at 76.8 million acres, unchanged from last month but up 1 percent from 2009. Harvested area, if realized, will be the largest on record.
 
The November objective yield data for the combined 11 major soybean-producing States (Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, and South Dakota) indicate a higher pod count compared with last year and is the highest pod count on record for the region. Compared with final counts for 2009, pod counts are up in seven States, with increases of more than 200 pods per 18 square feet in Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Ohio. November pod counts are the highest on record for Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Ohio. The largest decrease from 2009's final pod count is expected in Kansas, down 341 pods per 18 square feet.
 
Soybean harvest in the 18 major States was 37 percent complete at the beginning of October, 23 points ahead of last year's pace and 9 points ahead of normal. Mostly dry weather across most of the soybean-producing areas during the first two weeks of October further accelerated harvest progress. By October 17, eighty-three percent of soybeans were harvested, 54 percentage points higher than last year and 21 points ahead of the 5-year average.
 
Although a few showers occurred in parts of the Midwest during the latter part of October which briefly slowed harvest, progress reached 96 percent complete by October 31, seventeen percentage points ahead of normal. This is the earliest date that 96 percent of the crop was harvested since 1975 when published data became available.
 
If realized, the forecasted yields in Illinois, Louisiana, New York, and Wisconsin will be record highs and the forecasted yield in Michigan and North Dakota will tie the previous record high.
 
Cotton: Upland cotton harvested area, at 10.6 million acres, is unchanged from last month but up 43 percent from last year. American Pima harvested area, at 207,000 acres, was carried forward from the August forecast.
 
In the Southeastern States (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia), warm, dry conditions allowed harvest to progress rapidly during most of October. Warm weather helped dry fields in the Carolinas and Virginia, which were still wet from Tropical Storm Nicole. Objective yield data in Georgia show bolls per acre to be the lowest in the last 6 years and boll weight to be at its lowest level since 1998.
 
Harvest was in full swing in the Delta region by the first of October and was nearly completed by the end of the month. Producers experienced ideal weather for harvest activities during the first half of the month. The region received some precipitation in the latter half of the month, but it had a minimal impact since the majority of the cotton had already been harvested. In Louisiana, objective yield data forecasted boll weight to be the lightest in over 10 years. Objective yield data in Arkansas showed the bolls per acre to be the largest on record and the largest in the last 5 years in
Mississippi.
 
In the Panhandle of Texas, harvest progressed rapidly through the middle of the month. However, harvest came to a halt after strong thunderstorms moved through some parts of the growing area. Reports from growers indicated some damage to the crop due to heavy rain, hail, and high winds. Objective yield data in Texas showed both forecasted boll weights and bolls per acre decreased from last month. Cotton harvest got underway in Kansas during October, while harvest progressed ahead of average in Oklahoma during the month.
 
In Arizona, Upland cotton was harvested throughout the month. In California, the Upland crop harvest was well underway by the end of the month.
 
The American Pima production forecast was carried forward from last month, at 497,800 bales, up 25 percent from last year. The United States yield is forecast at 1,154 pounds per harvested acre, down 235 pounds per acre from last year.
 
Ginnings totaled 7,971,700 running bales prior to November 1, compared with 2,189,450 running bales ginned prior to the same date last year.
 
Small Grains: Survey respondents who reported barley, oats, Durum wheat, or other spring wheat acreage as not yet harvested in Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming during the surveys conducted in preparation for the Small Grains 2010 Summary were re-contacted in late October to determine how many of the acres were actually harvested and record the actual production from those acres. Based on this updated information, several changes were made to the estimates published in the Small Grains 2010 Summary. Because unharvested production is a component of on-farm stocks, changes were made to the September 1 on-farm stocks levels comparable with the production adjustments as well.
 
Other spring wheat harvested area declined 20,000 acres from the Small Grains 2010 Summary in Montana but was unchanged in Idaho, North Dakota, Oregon, and Washington. Yields in Idaho and Oregon decreased 1.0 bushel per acre and decreased 1.5 bushels in North Dakota. Yields in Montana and Washington were unchanged. As a result of the changes in Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, and Oregon, other spring wheat production in the United States is 616 million bushels, down 2 percent from the Small Grains 2010 Summary.
 
Durum harvested area was unchanged from the Small Grains 2010 Summary in Idaho, Montana and North Dakota, the only States re-interviewed for Durum. Yields decreased 4.0 bushels in Idaho, 1.0 bushel in Montana and 2.0 bushels in North Dakota. United States Durum production is 107 million bushels, down 4 percent from the Small Grains 2010 Summary.
 
All wheat production in the United States is 2.21 billion bushels, down 1 percent from the Small Grains 2010 Summary.
 
Oat harvested area was reduced 5,000 acres in North Dakota. Yield decreased 2.0 bushels per acre in North Dakota and 10.0 bushels in Oregon while Idaho increased 4.0 bushels per acre. Yields were unchanged in Montana, Washington, and Wyoming. As a result of the changes in Idaho, North Dakota, and Oregon, oat production in the United States is 81.2 million bushels, down slightly from the Small Grains 2010 Summary.
 
Barley harvested area was revised to 670,000 acres in North Dakota and 62,000 acres in Wyoming, down 1 and 2 percent from the Small Grains 2010 Summary, respectively. Harvested acreage remained unchanged in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. Yield decreased 1.0 bushel per acre in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Wyoming. Yields were unchanged in North Dakota and Washington. Total United States production is estimated at 180 million bushels, down 1 percent from the previous estimate.
 

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