From The Editor
October 14, 2011
Hello Pro Farmer Members!
We've got another Crop Production Report to evaluate in this week's Pro Farmer newsletter. One of the most interesting things we noticed in the details of the report were the lower-than-month-ago ear counts in most of the key corn production states. The lower ear population should have led to a lower-than-month-ago corn yield. Instead, USDA increased the ear weight just enough to hold the national average corn yield at 148.1 bu. per acre. It's funny how one yield factor is often completely offset by another to result in a steady yield.
And I think the "changes" that resulted in a "no-change yield" are accurate. The end of the growing season was good enough in most locations to result in a slight increase in ear weights compared to September expectations. And I think the ear counts are doing a better job of reflecting the reality of the wind-blown corn crop that started with a very inconsistent emergence pace. And based on data collected during the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour, there is still room to trim average ear populations a bit more. (Of course, there might be a bit more room to the upside on ear weights to offset another cut to ear populations.)
Simply put, the 148.1 bu. per acre national average corn yield isn't going to change much between now and the January Annual Production Summary. One yield factor (positive or negative) will likely be offset by another to hold the national average corn yield close to steady.
We were surprised by the downtick in the national average soybean yield. I pushed for the half-bushel increase we put on the national average bean yield in the Oct. 8 Pro Farmer based on actual harvest results. In retrospect, I may have been suffering from a case of backyarditis. Soybean yields in northeast Iowa are good... really good. There are some exceptions -- beans on light ground didn't do well in the area. But we continue to hear excellent soybean yield results. We'll dial back our enthusiasm for bean yields a bit and work with a 42-bu. national average bean yield leading up to the Nov. 9 Crop Production Report. That's a half-bu. above USDA's current yield peg, but it's 0.3 bu. below our pre-report yield expectation.
On News page 4 of this week's Pro Farmer we include our first look at the 2012-13 marketing years. After talking with some market observers, they expect a slight increase in corn acres and a slight cut in soybean acres. That's what we reflect in the soybean table. But, make sure you read the front page eartag that talks about how soybeans seem to be getting back their "mojo" for the year ahead. Because of "impressive" bean yields in some key corn-on-corn areas -- along with disappointing corn yields in these same areas -- the corn market will have a tougher time holding onto all those corn-on-corn acres for another year. We expect 2012 soybeans to compete for acres against both corn and wheat (based on revenue potential per acre). With that in mind, we'll take a look at the S&D outlook for 2012-13 soybeans with an increase in soybean plantings in upcoming issues.
That's it for this week...
Have a great weekend!!