Almost All Crop Production Was Down in 2011

Published on: 08:57AM Feb 14, 2012

With another year of low corn production but high acres, did this negatively affect the total production for other crops in 2011? The USDA just released the final numbers on U.S. crop production for 2011 and I thought I would take a look. The major findings are as follows:

  •  Corn production down 1% to 12.4 billion bushels
  • Soybean production down 8% to 3.06 billion bushels
  • Wheat production down 9% to 2 billion bushels
  • Cotton production down 13% to 15.7 million 480-lb. bales
  • Sorghum production down 38% to 214 million bushels
  • Dry edible bean production down 38% to 1.972 billion pounds
  • Potato production up 5% to 426 million cwt.
  • Barley production down 14% to 155 million bushels
  • Peanut production down 12% to 3.648 billion pounds
  • Sunflower production down 24% to 2.091 billion pounds

Every crop listed here but potatoes was down in production, in some cases substantially. We know that the drought in the Southern U.S. caused part of the drop in several of these crops, but for almost all crops to be down across the board was great for prices in 2011. But if we have a "normal" crop in 2012, how will prices respond?

My guess is that prices will come down some for most crops in 2012 unless we have another weather issue, and since this would be three crops in a row dramatically affected by weather, all bets on pricing would be off.

We shall see.