soybean harvest combine

USDA raises soybean forecast above trade expectations

The 2015 U.S. cotton forecast was increased 3 percent to 13.4 million bales. That total would be up 3 percent from USDA’s August forecast but down 18 percent from 2014. Cotton yields are expected to average 789 pounds, which would be down 6 percent from last year. New York cotton futures rose from 19 to 61 points following the report’s release.

USDA is forecasting 2015 U.S. soybean production to reach 3.94 billion bushels or about 80 million bushels more than the average of analysts’ expectations prior to the release of the September Crop Production Report.

The estimate, based on crop conditions on Sept. 1, is only up 30 million or so from USDA’s August production forecast, but the August Crop Production Report numbers caused soybean futures to sell off to contracts lows. Some contracts set new contract lows following today’s (Sept. 11) report

The 2015 U.S. corn crop was pegged at 13.6 billion bushels, down 4 percent from last year’s record production and down less than 1 percent from the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service August estimate. If realized, this year’s corn crop would still be the third largest on record for the U.S.

The 2015 U.S. cotton forecast was increased 3 percent to 13.4 million bales. That total would be up 3 percent from USDA’s August forecast but down 18 percent from 2014. Cotton yields are expected to average 789 pounds, which would be down 6 percent from last year. New York cotton futures rose from 19 to 61 points following the report’s release.

Upland cotton production could total as high as 13 million bales, down 18 percent from 2014, and Pima production 451,000, down 20 percent from last year’s extra-long-staple or ELS cotton harvest.

Hope for fewer acres

While soybean contract lows were set in nearby months immediately following the release of the Sept. 11 report, futures recovered to trade modestly lower, according to Bryce Knorr, senior grain marketing analyst for Farm Futures magazine. (Farm Futures is a sister publication to Delta Farm Press.)

“The soybean tally was disappointing with USDA increasing its yield,” said Knorr. “The best hope for a smaller crop likely is with reduced acreage, but we’ll have to wait for that.”

Corn futures, on the other hand, traded higher following the report, although it contained little bullish news.

USDA said soybean yields are expected to average 47.1 bushels per acre, up 0.2 bushel from last month but down 0.7 bushel from last year. Harvested area is forecast at a record 83.5 million acres, up less than 1 percent from 2014.

Corn yields were pegged at 167.5 bushels per acre, down 1.3 bushels from the August crop report and 3.5 bushels from 2014. USDA said cool temperatures in the Midwest “meant the majority of the nation’s corn and soybeans made it through the 2015 growing season with negligible heat stress.

“Farther south, hot, mostly dry weather prevailed from the southeastern plains to the lower Mississippi Valley, stressing pastures and rain-fed summer crops. Pockets of unfavorable dryness also developed or intensified in the Atlantic Coast states, especially from the Carolinas northward.”

Soybean state yields mostly unchanged

Despite the unfavorable moisture conditions, USDA left its soybean yield estimates for the Mid-South states largely unchanged from the August forecast. Arkansas’ yield was pegged at 53 bushels in both reports; Louisiana’s was lowered from 47 to 45 bushels; Mississippi’s at 48 bushels; Missouri’s statewide yield raised from 38 to 40 bushels and Tennessee’s remained at 45 bushels.

One of the biggest changes in the report occurred in Arkansas where USDA reduced its projection for the state average corn yield from 195 bushels per acre on Aug. 1 to 188 bushels in the September report. Yield for Louisiana remained at 170 bushels; Mississippi, 184 bushels; Missouri (statewide) 150; and Tennessee, 143 bushels.

The Department’s National Agricultural Statistics Service also reduced its forecast for grain sorghum production in Arkansas from 105 bushels on Aug. 1 to 100 bushels on Sept. 1. For Louisiana, the yield estimate was reduced from 89 to 80 bushels; for Mississippi, from 95 to 93 bushels; and for Missouri, USDA raised the forecast from 88 to 91 bushels.

Overall, U.S. farmers are expected to harvest 574.38 million bushels of grain sorghum in 2015. That’s up from 2014’s 432.58 million bushels, primarily because of a 16 percent increase in harvested acreage for grain sorghum in 2015.

U.S. rice production is forecast to decline from 221.03 million hundredweight in 2014 to 189.5 million hundredweight in 2015 due to a combination of factors, including delays in planting last spring and high nighttime temperatures during grain fill.

The biggest decrease is expected to occur in Arkansas, which accounts for the lion’s share of rice acreage. Production could decline from 111.96 million hundredweight to 95.9 million hundredweight, the crop report said.

For more on the Sept. 11 Crop Production Report, visit http://www.usda.gov/nass/PUBS/TODAYRPT/crop0915.pdf

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