Weather Taking Toll on Crops

This is what the corn looked like near Bloomington, Illinois yesterday – and it looks much worse in other areas.

The USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate report out this morning did, as expected, lower corn yields as a result of the hot and dry conditions throughout much of the growing region this summer. “Dreadful,” said USDA Outlook Board Chairman Gerry Bange earlier this week as they were working to come up with the estimates. “There’s no other way to describe this other than just horrible.”

The projected U.S. corn yield was lowered 20 bushels per acre to 146 bushels reflecting the rapid decline in crop conditions since early June and based on that and reduced harvested area based on the June 29 Acreage report, WASDE reduced corn production prospects by 1.8 billion bushels from last month. “Persistent and extreme June dryness across the central and eastern Corn Belt and extreme late June and early July heat from the central Plains to the Ohio River Valley have substantially lowered yield prospects across most of the major growing regions,” the report says.

Soybeans are getting hit as well. WASDE is now projecting soybean production at 3.050 billion bushels, down 155 million as increased harvested area is more than offset by reduced yields. Harvested area, estimated at 75.3 million acres in the June 29 Acreage report, is 2.3 million above the June projection. The soybean yield is projected at 40.5 bushels per acre, down 3.4 bushels from last month.

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