I-80 Harvest Tour: Wrap Up

November 16, 2016 10:39 AM

USDA is adding more bushels to its already record corn and soybean forecast, but are producers feeling the same in farm country?

This growing season is producing some of the best crops John Kennay has ever seen.

“It’s a little bit better than 2014,” said John Kennay of Ashton, Illinois. “I’d say we’re 10 to 15 percent above a good year.”

He’s not alone. USDA is projecting a national corn crop of 175.3 bushels per acre and 52.5 bushels per acre soybean crop. Both are an increase and potential record, but many producers are seeing yields that are much higher in soybeans.

“Beans are good,” said Kennay. “There are a lot of 70 to 75 bushel beans this year.”

USDA’s soybean yield projections are high across the nation with majority of soybean yields in the Corn Belt higher than USDA’s November crop production report from 2014 when the U.S. produced a record crop. The Iowa Soybean Association has forecasted record soybean production in the state this year.

“So far the soybean crop looks outstanding,” said Mitch Zumbach of Coggon, Iowa.

Some pockets of Ohio and South Dakota experienced weather conditions from too wet to bone dry this season, and even those states are seeing good yields. USDA said Ohio’s state average is at 55 bushels per acre while South Dakota’s is at 48.

“These soybeans are making more in the sixties bushel per acre range,” said Fred Pond of Scott, Ohio. “That’s leading the way in revenue for guys in farms this year.” 

“We had some challenges in June and July but the beans have held on,” said Jonathan Hagena of Turner County, South Dakota. “These rains in August have really helped out. I think we’ll be at trend line or maybe even a little better on the beans because of the August rains.”

Now, the industry hopes there’s enough soybean demand to support it.

“Beans were sold off on the report as well,” said John Payne of Daniels Trading. “They didn’t have the demand hike that corn did. We were thinking maybe we’d see exports go up but they lowered the crush. Carryout moved from 420 million bushels to 480 million bushels. So, it’s a substantial jump. which I think will show weak prices here.”

“We’re going to use this crop we’re producing,” said Ron Moore of American Soybean Association. “It may not be as quick but we’re going to use it.”

USDA is also increasing its corn yields after lowering them in October, catching a lot of producers off guard.

“I don’t know what it’s based off of,” said Payne. “Looking at the state by state average, they essentially raised every state out there. Minnesota, being the one raised the most. Illinois for example is up 202 bushels per acre. They were 195 bushels per acre in 2014.”

Those big yields jumped in Iowa and Nebraska as well. There seems to be mixed reviews if corn is a record in farm country.

“It’s going to be an above average crop. I wouldn’t say it’s going to be a record in every field,” said Bob Bartek of Ithaca, Nebraska.

It’s another growing season with a bountiful crop. It’s one we may not know just how large it really is until January. 

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