USDA predicting bin-buster harvest

East central Iowa expected to produce highest yields

Adam Wesley/The Gazette

Corn is harvested in September 2013 in Newhall.
Adam Wesley/The Gazette Corn is harvested in September 2013 in Newhall.

Corn and soybean farmers are on track to produce a bin-buster harvest.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is projecting Iowa farmers will harvest 2.67 billion bushels of corn, surpassing last year’s record production of 2.51 billion bushels. Yields are expected to average 198 bushels per acre, up 2 bushels from the September forecast, and 6 bushels higher than last year.

If realized, the average yield would set a record for a second consecutive year.

Corn production is forecast to be higher in all nine Iowa districts from 2015 and average yields are expected to be higher in seven districts. East central Iowa is anticipated to have the highest average corn yield in the state at 208 bushels per acre.

Soybean production is forecast at 551 million bushels, 2.7 million bushels below last year’s record high of 553.7 million bushels. If realized, it will be second-largest crop on record.

The Oct. 1 average yield forecast is a record high 58 bushels per acre, 1.5 bushels more than the previous record set last year.

The USDA is projecting higher soybean production in five Iowa districts and average yields are expected to be higher in every district from the previous year. East central Iowa is expected to have the highest average soybean yield in the state at 60.5 bushels per acre.

Nationally, corn farmers are projected to harvest 15.05 billion bushels for grain, up from 13.6 billion bushels in 2015. Average yield per acre is forecast at 173.4 bushels per acre, up from 168.4 bushels per acre in 2015.

The nation’s soybean producers are forecast to harvest 4.3 billion bushels, up from 3.9 billion bushels in 2015. Average yield is projected at 51.4 bushels per acre, up from 48 bushels per acre last year.


Don Roose of U.S. Commodities in West Des Moines said the report did not have a positive impact on corn and soybean prices.

“We went into this report with a market that was stuck in a trading range for the last six weeks and we come out of the report still stuck in the same range,” Roose said. “We have a monstrous crop against monstrous demand,

“We’re going to see if the government is right. They took exports of corn and soybeans all up in this report.

“People are afraid that the domestic soybean crush rate is overstated, and that the feed use could be overstated.

“With the issues that we have in the livestock industry, where there is too much production for the demand, we certainly do not need to encourage increased feeding demand.”

Roose said the USDA’s forecast of net farm income falling about 11.5 percent in 2016 is looking very likely, given the large crops expected in the United States and a record harvest predicted in South America.

“We’re looking at a record harvest of 102 million metric tons of soybeans in Brazil and they will start their early harvest in January,” Roose said. “South America had a very short corn crop last year in Brazil. It looks like that crop is going to bounce back about 30 percent.

“The strong exports that we’ve had to China and the rest of the world will run into fierce competition if South America gets a big crop sometime in the middle to late winter.”



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