Corn: Area harvested and to be harvested for grain is forecast at 89.1 million acres, unchanged from the August forecast but up 2 percent from 2012.
At 13.8 billion bushels, 2013 corn production is forecast to be a record high for the United States. The forecasted yield for the United States is expected to be the third highest on record, behind only 2009 and 2004, respectively. Eleven States expect a record high corn yield for 2013.
As of September 1, fifty-six percent of the corn acreage was rated in good to excellent condition in the 18 major producing States, down 8 percentage points from a month ago but up 34 percentage points compared with the same time last year.
The September 1 corn objective yield data indicate the highest number of ears on record for the combined 10 objective yield States (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin).
August began with much of the Corn Belt continuing to experience below normal temperatures. The late planting of the crop continued to impact the pace of development. As of August 4, only 18 percent of the crop was at or beyond the dough stage, 40 percentage points behind last year and 13 percentage points behind the 5-year average. By the second week of the month, localized showers brought welcome moisture to some areas of Iowa and Wisconsin, while others began to see the onset of dry conditions. By the end of the third week, most of the Western Corn Belt and Southern Great Plains were starting to see soil moisture levels decline from the lack of rain coupled with triple digit temperatures. The drying trend spread eastward with scattered showers providing a respite for some, while others began to see signs of stress in the crop due to lack of moisture.
By the end of the month, hot and dry weather had returned to most of the Northern Great Plains, Western Corn Belt, and Great Lakes regions. The hot weather helped to rapidly advance crop development, although it still lagged behind the average pace. By September 1, forty-two percent of the crop was at or beyond the dent stage, 42 percentage points behind last year's drought impacted crop and 19 percentage points behind the 5-year average. Despite the soil moisture concerns, by September 1, fifty-six percent of the crop was rated in good to excellent condition compared with only 22 percent at the same time last year.
Soybeans: Area for harvest is forecast at 76.4 million acres, unchanged from August but up slightly from 2012. If realized, this will be the second largest harvested area on record.
The September objective yield data for the combined 11 major soybean- producing States (Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, and South Dakota) indicate a higher pod count compared with last year as conditions have generally been more favorable across the Midwest. Compared with final counts for 2012, pod counts are up in seven of the ten published States. The largest increase from 2012's final pod count is expected in South Dakota, up 381 pods per 18 square feet. Increases of more than 200 pods per 18 square feet are also expected in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, and Missouri.
As the month of August began, 39 percent of the soybean crop was setting pods, 30 percentage points behind last year and 12 percentage points behind the 5-year average. Development of the crop continued to progress behind normal throughout the month of August. By September 1, ninety-two percent of the soybean crop was at or beyond the pod-setting stage, 6 percentage points behind last year and 4 percentage points behind normal.
As of September 1, fifty-four percent of the United States soybean crop was rated in good to excellent condition, 24 percentage points ahead of the same time in 2012. During August, good to excellent ratings decreased across nearly the entire Corn Belt due to inadequate rainfall. During the month, good to excellent ratings decreased in 14 of the 18 published States, with declines of 14 percentage points or more in Illinois, Indiana, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. The only States to show an improvement in condition ratings during August were Ohio, North Carolina, and Mississippi.
If realized, the forecasted yield will be a record high in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Wheat: As of August 11, six percent of the spring wheat crop was harvested, 55 percentage points behind last year and 18 percentage points behind the 5-year average. Harvest began in Montana and North Dakota during this time; however, overall progress in North Dakota was over two weeks behind normal. Forty-two percent of the spring wheat crop was harvested by August 25, forty-five percentage points behind last year and 12 percentage points behind the 5-year average. Double-digit progress was evident in all major producing States during the week ending August 25, as favorable weather quickly matured the crop and provided ample time for fieldwork. Sixty-four percent of the spring wheat crop was harvested by September 1, twenty-nine percentage points behind last year and 5 percentage points behind the 5-year average. Overall, 70 percent of the spring wheat crop was reported in good to excellent condition on September 1. Comparison data for the previous year was unavailable due to the earliness of last year's harvest.
Cotton: Area planted to Upland cotton is estimated at 10.1 million acres, up slightly from the previous estimate but down 16 percent from last year. Upland harvested area is expected to total 7.58 million acres, up one percent from last month but down 17 percent from 2012. Pima cotton planted area is estimated at 201,000 acres, up 8 percent from the previous estimates but down 16 percent from last year. Expected harvested area, at 198,800 acres, is down 16 percent from 2012.
As of September 1, forty-five percent of the cotton acreage was rated in good to excellent condition compared with 42 percent this time last year. Sixteen percent of the crop had bolls opening by September 1, eighteen percentage points behind last year and thirteen percentage points behind of the 5-year average.
Conditions in the south for cotton have been drier over the last month following an extremely wet start to the season. Record high yields are expected in New Mexico and Tennessee.