October 15, 2019

Reaction to October Crop Report decrease in 2019 U.S. Soy Yield

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

The USDA moved in the right direction by lowering the 2019 U.S. soybean yield 1.0 bu/ac to 46.9 bu/ac in the October Crop Report. Additionally, the impact of the recent winter storm on crop production in the northwestern Corn Belt was not taken into account in this report. The heavy snow and winds are going to cause damage to both crops and the season-ending freeze will keep some of the latest developing crops from reaching complete maturity. Therefore, I think the production estimates for both corn and soybeans in the November Crop Report will be lower than in the October Crop Report.

Reaction to the October 2019 U.S. Soybean Production from USDA - The USDA lowered the soybean production from 3.63 billion bushels in September to 3.55 billion bushels in October. They lowered the soybean yield 1.0 bushel to 46.9 bushels per acre. They lowered the planted acreage 243,000 acres to 76.4 million. They lowered the harvested acreage 240,000 acres to 75.6 million. They trimmed the percent harvested from 98.9% in September to 98.8% in October.

Take away:

  • The planted acreage could move a little lower in the November and January reports.
  • The harvested acreage could move lower due to a reduction of the percent harvested. They trimmed the percent harvested to 98.8%, but that was before the freezing temperatures and the snowstorm. They are using 98.8% harvested and I am using 98.5% harvested.
  • Soybean yields could move lower due to the killing freeze cutting short the maturity process on some of the later maturing soybeans.
  • When soybeans are killed by a freeze before they are mature, the result can be smaller green or yellow soybeans resulting in lower yields.
  • The snow and wind will cause lodging of the soybeans especially if they had not shed their leaves. These lodged soybeans will not straighten up making harvest slow and difficult resulting in additional harvest losses. The lodged soybeans could also have quality issues if the snow lingers and it stays cold and wet. I would not be surprised if some of the lodged soybeans end up with moldy seed.
  • It's too early to know the extent of the damage caused by the adverse weather in the northwestern Corn Belt, but I think the nationwide soybean yield could decline by as much as 1.0 bu/ac due to adverse weather in both the northwestern Corn Belt and the late season hot and dry conditions in the southern U.S.
  • The USDA is using a yield of 46.9 bu/ac and for now, I am using a yield of 46.0 bu/ac.