Official Pro Farmer Estimates

August 21, 2008 07:00 PM
Pro Farmer U.S. Corn Yield Estimate: 153.3 bu. per acre.
Pro Farmer U.S. Corn Production Estimate: 12.152 billion bushels.
Pro Farmer U.S. Soybean Yield Estimate: 39.95 bu. per acre.
Pro Farmer U.S. Soybean Production Estimate: 2.930 billion bushels.
Comment from Pro Farmer Editor Chip Flory:
"These estimates assume a normal finish to the growing season… including a normal first frost date. To allow for some changes in the weather between now and maturity of the corn and soybean crops, we're putting a range of ‘plus-or-minus' 1 percent on the corn yield estimate and a range of ‘plus-or-minus' 2 percent on the soybean yield estimate.”
"There are four big challenges facing the corn crop in the seven states we scouted this year. First, nitrogen is running short. As nitrogen runs out, odds are the crop will shut down before it has a chance to maximize grain weight. Second, it's too dry across the Corn Belt. Water is needed at this time of the year to (again) maximize grain weight. Third, late development. After a delayed planting season, the Midwest also saw slower-than-normal accumulation of Growing Degree Days. Both factors are slowing development, leaving much of the crop vulnerable to yield damage even if the first killing frost of the season holds off until the normal date."

"Finally, root development is exceptionally shallow. Until August, fairly regular rainfall continued to supply the crop with plenty of water, but shallow root development means the crop can't tap into much-needed nitrogen and other key nutrients. That, we believe, is the main reason much of the Midwest crop is ‘off color' – instead of the corn crop carrying a dark green color, plants are a bit pale. That's a symptom of the tough growing season the corn and soybean crops have faced this year.”

"For soybeans, there is one big difference between last year's bean crop and the crop we toured this year. Last year, the crop had plenty of water available to build a big yield. This year, it's way too dry -- that's the biggest challenge to the bean crop.”

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