Uncertainty continues ahead of USDA updates

It has been a tricky year to figure out what the USDA is going to project for corn and soybean production. The season started off with an historically slow planting pace caused by excessively wet weather, followed by highly variable conditions across many key U.S. growing areas, with government acreage and crop projections called into question almost immediately by the markets and producers.

Ahead of Thursday’s supply, demand, and production update, most analysts expect the USDA to reduce its corn production guess by a few hundred million bushels, while also trimming the yield slightly, but the range of estimates is wide, nearly a billion bushels. On average, according to DTN, the USDA might put corn at 13.614 billion bushels with an average yield of 166.7 bushels per acre, compared to 13.901 billion bushels and 169.5 bushels per acre in August. 2018’s crop totaled 14.42 billion bushels with an average yield of 176.4 bushels per acre.

Soybean production and yield numbers are also expected to be down on the month. The range of estimates for beans is much tighter than it is for corn. The average guess on beans is 3.596 billion bushels with an average yield of 47.2 bushels per acre, compared to 3.680 billion and 48.5 bushels per acre a month ago. A year ago, U.S. soybean production totaled 4.544 billion bushels with an average yield of 51.6 bushels per acre.

The USDA will also be adjusting domestic and global supply and demand estimates.

The reports are out Thursday at Noon Eastern/11 Central.