August 8, 2008
August 8, 2008 - Two private agricultural research firms are predicting the 2008 corn crop will be the second largest in history, despite lower planted acreage and early season floods.
With the cost of feeding livestock the main market driver this year, the meat industry is paying more attention than usual to the size of this year's crops.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture will make its first corn and soybean crop estimates based on actual field surveys on Aug. 12. Ahead of that report, private forecasters this week have begun to issue their own estimates.
One estimate is that of Informa Economics, a private agricultural research consulting firm. According to a media report attributed to sources familiar with the firm's estimates, Informa is forecasting the U.S. corn crop at 12.33 billion bushels, based on an average yield of 155.4 bushels per acre. That would put the U.S. corn crop below last year's record 13.1 billion bushels but ahead of the previous record set in 2004 at 11.8 billion bushels.
Brokerage firm FC Stone also reportedly sees the 2008 corn crop as the second largest ever, forecasting 12.197 billion bushels on an average yield of 154.5 bushels per acre.
Informa put the U.S. soybean crop at 3.054 billion bushels, based on an average yield of 42 bushels per acre. FC Stone pegged the soybean crop at 2.993 billion bushels with an average yield of 40.5 bushels per acre.
In 2007, the U.S. soybean crop fell to 2.6 billion bushels from a record 3.2 billion bushels in 2006, as acres shifted from soybeans to corn to meet ethanol demand. This year, some of those acres shifted back to soybeans.
As crop conditions have improved over the summer, corn and soybean prices have dropped in recent weeks, but still remain well above what it cost to feed livestock a year ago. The wild card remains how well the crops can continue to make up lost time from a late start. Reprinted in part from meatingplace.com