U.S. Department of Agriculture predicting record corn and soybean yields

Ideal weather in important American crops producing areas such as Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota will lead to a record crop of corn and soybeans, according to yields estimates in a report issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Aug. 12.

The first survey-based account of the 2016 crop shows U.S. corn at an all-time record of over 15.15 billion bushels, with an average yield of 175.1 bushels per acre and a harvested area of over 86.5 million acres. This would be an increase of 11 percent from the 2015 U.S. corn production level of 13.6 billion bushels. The previous record for U.S. corn production was set in 2014, when 14.2 billion bushels were produced.

The department is projecting an average on-farm corn price for the 2016-17 marketing year (which runs from next month until Aug. 31 next year) of $3.15 per bushel, which would be the U.S.A.’s lowest national average corn price in over a decade.

U.S. soybeans are at 4.06 billion bushels, with an average yield of 48.9 bushels per acre and a harvested area of almost 83.04 million acres. This would be slightly above the previous record U.S. soybean production of almost 3.93 billion bushels set in 2015.

The department projects an average on-farm soybean price for the 2016-17 marketing year of $9.10 per bushel. That’s a slight increase over the estimated 2015-16 final national average soybean price of $8.95, but still $1 below the U.S. 12-month national average price of $10.10 per bushel in 2014-15.

A second USDA survey in September will include kernel count and quality.

Analysts have said that sustained demand from China could counteract the dip in prices caused by the USDA figures, which confirmed a surge in U.S. corn and soybean production. September corn slid to $3.12 soon after the USDA report was released, but then gained before closing at $3.22. September soybeans gained, rising to $10.06 soon after the report, but then dropped to $9.99.

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