The Season's First Corn Yield Estimate: 170.7 Bu.

May 10, 2017 11:28 AM
USDA Grain Unloader

Using weather-adjusted trends and assuming normal planting progress and summer weather, USDA estimates the 2017 U.S. corn crop could reach 170.7 bu. per acre. That’s shy of 2016’s record-shattering 174.6 bu. per acre, but if realized, would still be the third-highest yielding corn crop per acre on record. USDA admits the projections are “highly tentative” this early in the season.

That was one key takeaway as USDA today released its latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) – the first initial assessment of U.S. and world crop supply and demand prospects, as well as U.S. prices for 2017/18. Here are some additional highlights.

  • U.S. wheat supplies for 2017/18 are projected down 9% from last year on lower production. Higher beginning stocks partially offset this amount. Use during this time is projected 2% lower based on lower exports and feed and residual use.
  • U.S. feed-grain estimates for 2017/18 call for lower production, domestic use, exports and ending stocks. Projected beginning stocks could be the highest since 1988/89 and the second-highest on record.
  • Corn for ethanol is projected up 50 million bushels due to anticipated higher gasoline consumption, reduced sorghum for ethanol and continued global demand.
  • China’s total corn supply is down 14 million tons in 2017/18, due to projected declines in beginning stocks and production.
  • U.S. soybean expectations is for higher supplies, crush, exports and ending stocks. A forecasted lower yield more than offsets higher harvested acres, leaving the crop at a projected 4.255 billion bu. That’s down 52 million from 2016’s record-breaking crop.
  • The 2017/18 U.S. cotton crop could be 19.2 million bales, which could “sharply increase” next season’s ending stocks, according to USDA. However, the export forecast is increased to 14.5 million bales, which reflects higher-than-expected export sales.
  • U.S. rice production is forecast down 23.1 million cwt from last year, based on a large reduction of long grain acreage reported in NASS Prospective Plantings survey from March 31.
  • Total red meat and poultry production in 2018 should be higher, due to increased production. Prices are expected to decline for cattle and hogs relative to 2017, while turkey and egg prices could increase in 2018 based on increased demand.
  • Milk production in 2018 is expected higher due to stronger milk prices and moderate feed prices. The all-milk price is forecast at $17.55 to $18.55 per cwt in 2018.

Click here for the entire May 2017 WASDE report.

Back to news



Spell Check

Smallville, IN
5/10/2017 12:18 PM

  What a joke, I can't believe anyone actually believes the USDA's crap. Already producing estimates when more than 1/2 the corn crop isn't even planted, needs replanted, or may not even get planted. The liberals and greedy politicians have destroyed this country...all of this to control the price of grain to below break even prices for the farmers so they can fill their pockets on wallstreet with insider trading.

Goodwell, OK
5/10/2017 06:39 PM

  A bit harsh there Jerry. USDA is a non-partisan branch of the Federal government. I know several Republicans who work there and would argue that on balance more conservatives work at USDA and its affiliated offices, than liberals. There is nothing wrong with having an estimate based on prior data. The 170.1 bu/acre is a reasonable estimate and it can give producers a sense of total production, which in turn would be useful for calculating early price forecasts for November.

auburn, IN
5/11/2017 06:46 AM

  must be more CNN fake news


Corn College TV Education Series


Get nearly 8 hours of educational video with Farm Journal's top agronomists. Produced in the field and neatly organized by topic, from spring prep to post-harvest. Order now!


Market Data provided by
Brought to you by Beyer