Corn: The 2013 corn planted area for all purposes is estimated at 97.4 million acres, unchanged from the June estimate but up slightly from 2012. This represents the largest planted acreage in the United States since 1936, when an estimated 102 million acres were planted. Area harvested for grain is forecast at 89.1 million acres, unchanged from the June forecast but up 2 percent from 2012.
Despite early spring moisture that delayed planting and periods of dry weather that occurred during July in some locations, 64 percent of the crop was rated in good to excellent condition as of August 4, compared with just 23 percent rated in these two categories at the same time last year.
The August 1 corn objective yield data indicate the third 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).
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. Fourteen States expect a record high corn yield for 2013.
Planting of the 2013 corn crop was hampered by abnormally wet and cold spring weather. Significant flooding throughout the middle Mississippi Valley during mid-April further added to the frustrations of farmers struggling to get their seed in the ground. By April 28, only 5 percent of the crop had been planted, 44 percentage points behind last year's unusually fast pace and 26 percentage points behind the 5-year average.
The cool, wet weather continued into May, giving producers only small windows between rain showers to get their crop planted. Drier weather returned by mid-May and set the stage for a record-tying planting progress of 43 percentage points during the week ending on May 19. Double-digit emergence in 13 of the 18 major estimating States also occurred that same week.
By June 2, ninety-one percent of the corn crop had been planted, but wet conditions continued to hamper the planting of the remaining acreage. By mid- June, warmer, drier weather conditions had returned to the Midwest, allowing farmers to plant the remainder of their crop as well as giving the emerged crop good growing conditions. By month's end, crop progress lagged behind normal due to the delayed planting. However, 67 percent of the crop was rated in good to excellent condition by June 30, compared with 48 percent at the same time last year.
During the first part of July, a drying trend took shape in portions of the western Corn Belt as the crop began to enter the critical pollination stage. By July 7, six percent of the crop was silking, 14 percentage points behind the 5-year average pace. The dry weather began to negatively impact soil moisture supplies in parts of Iowa. As July came to a close, scattered showers and cooler temperatures had lessened the dry conditions in much of the Midwest but producers in the central and western Corn Belt were still in need of additional precipitation. As of August 4, eighty-six percent of the crop was at or beyond the silking stage, 12 percentage points behind last year.
Soybeans: Area for harvest is forecast at 76.4 million acres, down less than 1 percent from June but up slightly from 2012. Harvested area, if realized, will be the second largest on record. Planting conditions this spring were much worse than last year as cool and wet conditions delayed planting in many areas of the Corn Belt and Delta.
Planting of this year's soybean crop wasn't underway in all 18 major States until mid-May. As of May 26, only 44 percent of the intended soybean crop had been planted, 43 percentage points behind last year's pace and 17 percentage points behind normal. During the first part of June, conditions did allow good progress to be made in many areas, and by June 16 soybean planting had reached 85 percent complete, 13 percentage points behind last year's pace and 6 percentage points behind normal. However, planting progress at that time still lagged behind normal by 15 percentage points or more in Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. Planting progress did not reach 96 percent complete until June 30. At that time, progress remained 10 percentage points or more behind normal in both North Carolina and Tennessee.
Fourteen percent of the soybean crop had emerged by May 26, forty-three percentage points behind last year's pace and 16 percentage points behind normal. Emergence advanced to 66 percent by June 16, with progress in all 18 major States behind the 5-year average with the exception of Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio, and was 25 percentage points or more behind normal in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. Progress for blooming and setting pods followed a very similar pattern to emergence for soybeans, as progress for both remained several points behind last year's pace and the 5-year average throughout June and July. As of August 4, seventy-nine percent of the Nation's crop was blooming, 14 percentage points behind last year and 6 percentage points behind normal. Thirty-nine percent of the acreage was setting pods by August 4, thirty percentage points behind last year and 12 percentage points behind the 5-year average.
Nationally, condition ratings for the crop are much improved over last year when drought conditions were affecting much of the Midwest. As of August 4, sixty-four percent of the crop was rated as good to excellent, compared with twenty-nine percent last year. Condition ratings were higher in all 18 States compared with last year with the exceptions of Mississippi and North Carolina. Condition ratings improved by more than 40 percentage points from last year in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota. Compared with last year, yields are forecast to be down across the Southeast due to excessive moisture.
If realized, the forecasted yield will be a record high in Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
Winter wheat: Production is forecast at 1.54 billion bushels, down slightly from the July 1 forecast and down 6 percent from 2012. Based on August 1 conditions, the United States yield is forecast at 47.8 bushels per acre, unchanged from last month but up 0.6 bushel from last year. If realized, this will equal the United States record high yield established in 1999. The area expected to be harvested for grain or seed totals 32.3 million acres, unchanged from last month but down 7 percent from last year.
As of August 4, harvest was nearing completion in all Hard Red Winter (HRW) States except Montana and South Dakota. If realized, the California yield will tie a record high.
As of August 4, harvest progress in the Soft Red Winter (SRW) growing area was nearing completion in all major producing States. Growers in Illinois, Kentucky, New York, and Pennsylvania are expecting record high yields. Yield forecasts in the Pacific Northwest States are mostly down from the previous month's forecasts.
Other spring wheat: Production is forecast at 511 million bushels, down slightly from July and down 6 percent from last year. Area harvested for grain is expected to total 12.0 million acres, unchanged from last month but down 1 percent from last year. The United States yield is forecast at 42.8 bushels per acre, down 0.1 bushel from last month and down 2.2 bushels from 2012.
Above average temperatures across the spring wheat growing area have advanced crop development during the month. As of August 4, harvest had begun in all major producing States except Montana and North Dakota.
Cotton: Area planted to Upland cotton is estimated at 10.0 million acres, down slightly from June and down 17 percent from last year. Harvested area is expected to total 7.52 million acres, down 18 percent from 2012. Pima cotton planted area is estimated at 186,000 acres, down 18 percent from June and down 22 percent from last year. Expected harvested area, at 183,800 acres, is down 22 percent from the previous year.
As of August 4, forty-five percent of the cotton acreage was rated in good to excellent condition, compared with 41 percent this time last year. Fifty- three percent of the crop had set bolls by August 4, eighteen percentage points behind last year and 17 percentage points behind the 5-year average.
Cool, wet conditions in the south have caused slow crop progress. Rainfall has been excessive in many areas. Despite the weather conditions, record high yields are expected in New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Tennessee.