CONSULTANT: USDA CROP PEGS TOO HIGH... Crop consultant Dr. Michael Cordonnier says USDA is going in the right direction with its soybean yield estimate by lowering it in last week's report, but says he struggles to understand how USDA raised its corn yield estimate by 0.9 bu. per acre to 155.3 bu. per acre.
Dr. Cordonnier notes USDA raised corn ears per acre from last month to a record for the month. "I have a hard time understanding how the number of ears per acre increased from just 30 days ago... The only explanation I can come up with is that some of the late-planted corn did not have an ear present on August 1, but it did have an ear present on September 1," he notes, adding he expects USDA to eventually recognize that average ear weights have declined the last several weeks.
USDA lowered its soybean yield by 1.4 bu. per acre to 41.2 bu. per acre and Dr. Cordonnier expects even further declines in USDA's October report. "Due to the delayed development of the soybean crop this year, the adverse impact of the dry weather during August and early September was not fully accounted for when USDA conducted the field survey for the September report," he says. "Just counting the number of pods does not indication how many seeds are inside the pods and how much the seeds weigh."
Dr. Cordonnier left his corn yield estimate unchanged at 152 bu. per acre and has a neutral bias toward the crop going forward. However, he currently is using a corn harvested acreage estimate of 88.3 million, which is 900,000 less than USDA's current peg. Dr. Cordonnier also left his soybean yield estimate unchanged at 40.5 bu. per acre and has a neutral to lower bias going forward. He currently projects soybean harvested acres at 76.37 million (equal to USDA), but say he wouldn't be surprised if that figure declined by as much as 500,000 acres in the October crop report.
STATE-BY-STATE PREVENT-PLANT ACRES... As we alerted in "First Thing Today," USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) has updated its Prevent-Plant (PP) acreage data based on information filed from state offices. It now pegs PP corn acres at 3.573 million (up from 3.411 million in August) and PP soybean acres now stand at 1.687 million (up from 1.619 million in August). FSA has issued the following state figures:
North Dakota: 2.787 million acres of PP, including 1.660 million wheat, 445,075 acres of soybeans and 556,639 acres of corn.
Illinois: 367,334 acres of PP, including 209,561 acres of corn and 117,434 acres of soybeans.
Iowa: 720,481 PP acres, including 613,967 acres of corn and 106,381 acres of soybeans.
Minnesota: 889,446 acres of PP, including 633,088 acres of corn, 204,040 acres of soybeans and 48,090 acres of wheat.
Wisconsin: 369,351 PP acres, including 276,734 acres of corn and 89,276 acres of soybeans.
Arkansas: 625,475 acres of PP, including 159,487 acres of corn and 296,668 acres of rice.
Missouri: 373,908 acres of PP, including 253,150 acres of corn, 61,679 acres of soybeans and 35,548 acres of rice.
Mississippi: 340,952 PP acres, including 274,836 acres of corn, 22,930 acres of rice and 22,024 acres of upland cotton. Click here for more.
90-DAY SOYBEAN-FREE PERIOD ENDS IN BRAZIL... In the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso, Parana, Sao Paulo and Mato Grosso do Sul, the 90-day soybean-free period ended on Sept. 16, allowing producers (if they wish) to begin planting their 2013-14 soybean crop. The 90-day period was initiated in the mid-2000s as a way to help prevent the early spread of soybean rust.
But Dr. Cordonnier says soils in central Brazil are too dry to insure germination and farmers in the region would like to receive 2 to 3 inches of rain before they begin planting. But in Rio Grande do Sul, he says soil moisture is adequate and producers there have planted around 30% of their expected corn acres.
CLOSING MARKET COMMENTARY... Check profarmer.com following the close of the markets for an audio update from your editors. Scroll to the bottom of the page for the audio and video files. Click here for today's update.