Continued dry weather in the Midwest will leave the U.S. soybean yield at 39 bushels per acre, 3.6 bushels per acre below the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast and the indication of a fourth successive year of declining yields that began in 2009, according to Chicago-based broker Allendale. The broker has pegged the total harvest at 2.98 billion bushels – 275 million bushels below the USDA estimate, and a drop of some 240 million bushels year on year.
For corn, Allendale predicts a yield figure of 153.4 bushels per acre, 1 bushel per acre below the official USDA figure and above the 123.4 bushels per acre achieved in 2012, when corn suffered from the worst drought in decades, with soybean crops revived by rains in late August and September. “While we did see some problems with the western Corn Belt, our survey found higher-than-USDA estimates for the eastern Corn Belt,” said Allendale chief strategist Rich Nelson. A production figure of 13.676 billion bushels, while 87 million bushels below the USDA forecast, would still be a record result. “But for soybeans, there are some problems, which the market has yet to recognize,” said Nelson.
Consultancy Lanworth cut its forecast for the U.S. corn and soybean yields for a third successive week, citing low rainfall in August and early in September. “Outlooks indicate continued warm temperatures this week but with extremely low precipitation across much of the production area,” said Lanworth, lowering its estimate for the corn yield by 0.8 bushels per acre to 151.6 bushels per acre, and for soybeans by 0.4 bushels per acre to 40.4 bushels per acre. For soybeans, “low precipitation is correlated with below trend soybean pod weights and implies that gains in the USDA’s soybean yield estimate are highly unlikely.”
In Iowa, the top corn- and soybean-producing state, Lanworth said that “the shift from historically wet conditions during planting and establishment (April-June) to historically dry conditions during yield formation (July-September) is without precedent.”