The USDA August crop production report is now in the books with an average yield estimate of 175.1 bushels per acre (bpa) for corn and 50.9 bpa for soybeans -- a tad below average trade guesses but not too much out of line.
Still, the markets ended lower on ideas that yield potential has increased since the July crop survey period ended. However, after a favorable first half of August, conditions will turn drier and hotter in the next 10 days.
This chart shows the USDA August 2023 yield estimates as a percent deviation from the 25-year trend for both corn and soybeans for the top producing corn and soybean states and the U.S. as a whole. Though the USDA weekly Crop Condition reports have improved for both crops, they are still behind the long-term averages. It was no surprise that their August corn yield was 2.2% below the 25-year trend and soybeans off 2.4%.
As we have noted in prior blog pieces, it appears the more eastern and southern areas of the top corn and bean producing states have had better weather than those more north and west and this is reflected in the percent yield deviations for both crops.
For corn, just six of the top 18 states have 2023 yields above trend. North Carolina was up 13.3% and Texas was 6.0% above trend, despite still widespread drought in that state; corn areas are doing better than cotton areas in Texas. Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky all have above-yield trends with Ohio and Tennessee Valley regions having had good rains, while Colorado is also above trend.
For soybeans, just two states -- Indiana and North Carolina -- are above their respective 25-year trend figures with Ohio and Kentucky essentially at trend. States with August 2023 yields below the 25-year trend include Kansas, Missouri, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
Joel Karlin, Ocean State Research
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