The old saying that big crops keep getting bigger and small crops smaller in USDA’s monthly crop production reports continued to hold true in the October report.
Estimates of production for the three major row crops covered in USDA’s October Crop Production Report were each reduced by 1 percent or close to 1 percent from the September report and 1 percent or more from 2014.
USDA said cotton farmers would harvest 13.3 million bales, down less than 1 percent from September but 18 percent lower than in 2014. Corn was forecast at 13.6 billion bushels, down 5 percent from 2014’s record and less than 1 percent from September. Yield was put at 168 bushels per acre.
As if to put things in perspective, USDA said “If realized this (the corn harvest) will be the second highest yield and third largest production on record for the United States. Area harvested for grain is forecast at 80.7 million acres, down less than 1 percent from the September forecast and down 3 percent from 2014.”
USDA forecast 2014 U.S. soybean production at 3.89 billion bushels, down 1 percent from September and down 1 percent from last year. The Agriculture Department said yields are expected to average 47.2 bushels per acre, up slightly from last month.
The reduction in soybean numbers did stir some activity in the futures markets with prices rising slightly after USDA cut 47 million bushels from its production forecast for the 2015 crop. Department economists, meanwhile, reduced their demand forecast by 35 million bushels due to weaker exports.
Upland cotton production was estimated at 12.9 million bales, down 1 percent from September and 18 percent from 2014. Pima or extra-long staple cotton was left unchanged at 451,000 bales.
Arkansas was forecast to have the highest yield in the Mid-South at 1,218 pounds of lint per acre. Mississippi was in the top position at 1,219 pounds per acre in the September crop report, but USDA reduced its October estimate to 1,112 pounds per acre.
Louisiana’s forecast was reduced from 1,077 in September to 1,032 pounds; Missouri’s from 1,042 pounds to 1,070 pounds per acre; and Tennessee was increased from 960 pounds to 994 pounds per acre in the October report.
The Texas crop was pegged at 5.69 million bales as of Oct. 1, down from 6.2 million in 2014.
USDA estimates U.S. rice producers will harvest 187.79 million hundredweight in 2015, down from 221 million hundredweight in 2014. Rice yields were lowered for each of the rice-growing states except for Arkansas, which was left unchanged at 7,400 pounds per acre, and Missouri, which was increased from 6,300 to 6,600 pounds per acre.
The U.S. peanut production estimate was increased from 5.19 million pounds to 6.32 million pounds after growers planted an estimated 260,000 additional acres of peanuts in 2015 vs. 2014.
To view the October Crop Production Report, visit http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/current/CropProd/CropProd-10-09-2015.pdf