USDA S&D Text Highlights -- November 2012

November 9, 2012 01:50 AM
 

Corn Production Up Slightly from October Forecast
Soybean Production Up 4 Percent
Cotton Production Up 1 Percent

Corn production is forecast at 10.7 billion bushels, up slightly from the October forecast but down 13 percent from 2011. This represents the lowest production in the United States since 2006. Based on conditions as of November 1, yields are expected to average 122.3 bushels per acre, up 0.3 bushel from the October forecast but 24.9 bushels below the 2011 average. If realized, this will be the lowest average yield since 1995. Area harvested for grain is forecast at 87.7 million acres, unchanged from the October forecast and up 4 percent from 2011.

Soybean production is forecast at 2.97 billion bushels, up 4 percent from October but down 4 percent from last year. Based on November 1 conditions, yields are expected to average 39.3 bushels per acre, up 1.5 bushels from last month but down 2.6 bushels from last year. Compared with last month, yield forecasts are higher or unchanged across all States except for Oklahoma and Texas. Area for harvest in the United States is forecast at 75.7 million acres, unchanged from October and up 3 percent from last year.

All cotton production is forecast at 17.4 million 480-pound bales, up 1 percent from last month and up 12 percent from last year. Yield is expected to average 802 pounds per acre, up 12 pounds from last year. Upland cotton production is forecast at 16.8 million 480-pound bales, up 14 percent from 2011. Pima cotton production, forecast at 657,000 bales, was carried forward from last month.

Crop Comments

Corn: Area harvested and to be harvested for grain is forecast at 87.7 million acres, unchanged from October but up 4 percent from 2011.

The November 1 corn objective yield data indicate the lowest number of ears per acre since 2005 for the combined 10 objective yield States (Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin).

Aided by mostly favorable conditions during the first part of October, corn producers were harvesting the Nation's crop at one of the quickest paces on record. As of October 14, seventy-nine percent of this year's crop was harvested, 37 percentage points ahead of last year and 41 points ahead of the 5-year average pace. Despite precipitation during the latter part of October that slowed late-season harvesting in many of the major corn producing areas, 95 percent of the Nation's corn crop was harvested as of November 4. This is 10 percentage points ahead of last year and 24 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average pace.

Soybeans: Area for harvest is forecast at 75.7 million acres, unchanged from October but up 3 percent from 2011. If realized, harvested area will be the third largest on record.

The November 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 lower pod count compared with last year, as hot, dry weather during bloom hampered development of the crop in many areas. Compared with final counts for 2011, pod counts are down in all States. The largest declines from 2011's final pod counts are expected in Illinois, Missouri, and Nebraska, all down more than 500 pods per 18 square feet.

Soybean harvest in the 18 major States was 41 percent complete at the beginning of October, 26 percentage points ahead of last year's pace and 22 percentage points ahead of normal. Progress was ahead of normal in all 18 States except for Indiana, Ohio, and Tennessee, and was more than 50 percentage points ahead of normal in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Cool, wet weather during the first part of the month slowed harvest activities at times from the central Great Plains into the central Corn Belt, as well as in the Southeast. As of October 14, harvest was 71 percent complete, but had fallen behind normal progress in Kansas, Missouri, and North Carolina. Despite continued scattered rain over the remainder of the month in parts of the Midwest, harvest progress reached 93 percent complete by November 4, two percentage points ahead of last year and 7 percentage points ahead of normal. At that time, only North Carolina and Ohio remained slightly behind normal pace.

If realized, the forecasted yield in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia will be a record high.

October Agricultural Summary

October temperatures were near-normal while precipitation was below average across much of the United States, allowing producers ample time to harvest their remaining summer crops and seed overwintered small grains; however, less than adequate soil moisture levels hampered seed germination and establishment of winter wheat in portions of the Great Plains. Elsewhere, above average moisture across the Northern Tier benefitted soil moisture levels as winter approached. Hurricane Sandy made landfall in late October, pummeling the Mid-Atlantic Coast States with hurricane-force winds, excessive rain and snowfall, as well as severe flooding.

Aided by above average temperatures and mostly dry conditions throughout September, dry down was rapid in the Nation's corn crop. By October 7, maturity had advanced to 97 percent complete, 13 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average. Early-month rainfall slowed fieldwork in the eastern and southern Corn Belt; however, harvest remained steady. With mostly favorable weather conditions providing for one of the quickest harvest paces on record, corn producers had combined 79 percent of this year's crop by October 14, thirty-seven percentage points ahead of last year and 41 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average. High winds and rainfall in Indiana caused lodging in some fields and slowed the harvest pace mid-month; however, progress remained over two weeks ahead of normal. Toward month's end, rainfall limited or halted fieldwork in portions of the Corn Belt, leaving producers waiting for drier soils to finish harvest. Nationally, 95 percent of the corn crop was harvested by November 4, ten percentage points ahead of last year and 24 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average.

When October began, phenological development of the Nation's soybean crop was nearing completion, as harvest continued to advance rapidly. Above average temperatures and mostly sunny skies in Iowa pushed leaf drop and harvest well ahead of the normal pace. Nationwide, 58 percent of the soybean crop was harvested by October 7, eighteen percentage points, or one week, ahead of the 5-year average. Lodging caused by high winds was evident in Nebraska mid-month, leaving producers struggling to harvest their remaining crop. Toward month's end, rainfall in portions of the eastern Corn Belt saturated soils and limited fieldwork, while harvest in central and western portions of the region neared completion. Nationally, producers had harvested 93 percent of this year's crop by November 4, seven percentage points ahead of the 5-year average. Overall, 37 percent of the soybean crop was reported in good to excellent condition when harvest surpassed the halfway mark during the week ending October 7, compared with 56 percent from the same time last year.

Winter wheat seeding gained speed Nationally in early October following increased soil moisture levels in recent weeks. Widespread precipitation in Kansas provided much-needed moisture as producers continued to seed their crop; however, additional rainfall was needed to aid crop emergence as the month progressed. By October 14, seventy-one percent of the Nation's crop had been sown, on par with the 5-year average. Mild, generally dry weather lingered throughout the month, aiding fieldwork but hindering seed germination. By November 4, emergence was 73 percent complete, slightly behind the 5 year average, with the most significant delay evident in South Dakota, where topsoil and subsoil moisture levels were rated 84 and 90 percent short to very short, respectively. Overall, 39 percent of the winter wheat crop was reported in good to excellent condition on November 4, compared with 49 percent from the same time last year. In Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, the portion of the crop rated good to excellent was 37 percent, 21 percent, and 34 percent, respectively, compared with 45 percent, 42 percent, and 21 percent from the same time last year.

When October began, phenological development of the Nation's sorghum crop was similar to last year, while harvest was advancing at the normal pace. By October 7, coloring was 93 percent complete, slightly behind the 5-year average, and 65 percent of the crop was at or beyond the mature stage, 4 percentage points behind the average pace. As the month progressed, favorable weather conditions provided ample time for fieldwork where harvest was incomplete. In Kansas, harvest gained speed as more producers finished seeding their 2013 winter wheat crop and switched their focus to sorghum. Mild, mostly dry weather in the central Great Plains allowed for rapid harvest during the week ending October 21, evidenced by progress of 11 percentage points or more in Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. Crop maturity was complete or nearing completion in all major estimating States except New Mexico by October 21. Fieldwork continued at a quick pace as dry weather dominated the major growing regions late-month. By November 4, producers had harvested 78 percent of the Nation's crop, 2 percentage points ahead of last year and 8 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average. Overall, 24 percent of the sorghum crop was reported in good to excellent condition when harvest surpassed the halfway mark during the week ending October 21, unchanged from ratings on October 7 and from the same time last year.

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