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Yields Go Up, Government Shuts Down

October 5, 2013
By: Sara Schafer, Farm Journal Media Business and Crops Editor
USDA   unloading corn
  

Corn and soybean yields are coming in way above expectations. Jerry Gulke provides a harvest update and predictions for USDA’s next moves.

 
While the U.S. government may be shut down, U.S. farmers are hitting the fields to harvest their 2013 crops.
 
Slightly more than 10% of the U.S. corn crop has been harvested, according to USDA’s Sept. 30 Crop Progress report. The five-year average for this time of the year is 23% harvested. For soybeans, 11% of the crop has been harvested, which compares to a five-year average of 20%.
 

Jerry Gulke, president of the Gulke Group, says yield reports so far have been pleasant surprises for many producers. "We are harvesting the corn and soybean acres that were planted before late May and early June, and those seem to be coming in way above expectations."

Gulke says these positive yield reports (some coming in 10 to 20 bushels above farmer expectations) are from not just one state, but all across the country. "We’re hearing in from Louisiana to Illinois to the Canadian border," he says. "Our potential was much higher than we originally thought. We have a lot more yield out there than anyone expected."

The sticking point will be: Will yield reports stay high? Gulke’s not sure. "We did get a good September that should have finished this crop out well," he says. "But will the late-planted corn come in at 150 instead of 180?"

Hear Gulke's full audio analysis:


Informa Ups Yield Estimates

This week Informa Economics released its yield projections. Gulke says the group expects USDA to peg the U.S. national average corn yield at 158.8 bu. per acre for a 14.010 billion bu. crop. USDA’s current corn yield projection is 155.3 bu. per acre

"I think USDA will raise their corn yield at some point," Gulke says.

For soybeans, Informa expects USDA to raise its national average yield projection by 0.5 bu. from September to 41.7 bu. per acre for a 3.176 billion bu. crop.

Gulke says these numbers may not turn out to be written in stone, but in both cases, he says farmers can see what the trend is.

"The bean crop could get bigger, depending on the late-planted crop," he says.


Will USDA Release Crop Production Reports in October?

USDA is supposed to release its monthly Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates reports on Oct. 11. But, Gulke doesn’t believe that will happen.

"The people who were going to be walking those fields are on sabbatical," he says. "How I would do it would be to incorporate the October report into the November report. They will have more of the crop harvested by that point and more comments from farmers."

He says if that does happen, we all might be in for a surprise in November. "My fear is we’ll have a rude awakening in November that shows a big jump in corn yield, to match what Informa did," he says.

Regardless of when the supply and demand data and crop production figures are released, Gulke says USDA will likely not know the true size of the 2013 crops until January.

 

Have a question for Jerry? Contact him at 815-721-4705 or jerry@gulkegroup.com.

 

For More Information
See current market prices in AgWeb's Market Center

Submit your own yield reports to AgWeb’s Corn Harvest Map
 


 

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COMMENTS (2 Comments)

stovall cattle - park city, KY
I think farmers should keep there yeilds to there self
9:36 AM Oct 6th
 
jmdodge - MN
SW MN crop is coming in much better than I expected. Beans locally are yielding well - even considering large areas of spring damage from standing water reducing yield, and some large areas of crop missing completely. Corn hasn't really started, no yield reports in yet - but after several years of harvesting dry corn, looks like this years harvest will be very wet - early corn harvest attempts in the 25-28% range, Some pockets of very good corn - some very poor corn in the same fields.
7:26 AM Oct 5th
 



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