The rainiest spring in a quarter-century slowed the planting season and helped limit U.S. farmers to their smallest crop area in five decades, said the government in assessing 2019 production. Early snowfall and icy autumn weather prevented growers from harvesting more than 600 million bushels of corn, and the USDA said it would update estimates of corn and soybean supplies, if warranted, "once producers are able to finish harvesting remaining acres."
Spring flooding in the northern Plains and western Corn Belt will have a marginal impact on corn and soybean plantings, according to a USDA survey of growers and initial tallies of flooded land. With normal weather and yields, there would be limited impact on production of the two most widely grown U.S. crops, thanks to the huge amount of cropland nationwide.
The government releases two important reports this week for forecasting U.S. crop production and supplies for the growing season that is just beginning.
Corn and soybean growers in the Midwest face nearly $480 an acre in fixed costs and land rent going into the planting season, and hundreds of dollars more in per-acre expenses for the so-called variable costs of producing a crop, says economist Brent Gloy.
Cotton growers face the third year of low commodity prices, high production costs and financial hardship, says an economic outlook presented at the industry's annual meeting.
The productive capacity of U.S. agriculture is on full display in the USDA's record books: The three largest corn crops ever harvested came in 2013, 2014 and 2015, with back-to-back record-setting crops in 2013 and 2014. Soybean growers set back-to-back records in 2014 and 2015.
Around the world, people are drinking less orange juice, with consumption down one-fifth in the past decade to roughly 1.9 million tonnes this year. Production, dominated by Brazil and the United States, peaked five years ago and has generally declined since.
Growers reduced winter wheat plantings 7 percent for this year, but that's just the first step toward harvest, says economist Darrel Good of U-Illinois. The crop will be determined by how much of the land is harvested and by yields, writes Good at farmdoc daily.
A rainy spring that delayed planting in the western Corn Belt will mean a smaller-than-expected soybean crop, traders said ahead of today's Crop Production report, which makes the first forecast of the fall harvest.
The rainy spring that snarled soybean planting and flooded corn fields will trim slightly the size of this year's corn and soybean crops, according to traders who were polled ahead of projections to be released by the USDA today.
The U.S. winter wheat crop will be the smallest in eight years due to drought in the central and southern Plains, the government said, estimating a harvest of 1.38 billion bushels, 2 percent less than it forecast in May and 10 percent smaller than 2013.
The U.S. soybean stockpile is expected to shrivel to its smallest size in 10 years - less than a two-week supply - by late summer ahead of a record-large harvest that will saturate supplies and sharply pull down prices for the oilseed, according to trade expectations for the crop report today.