USDA Reports Summary

USDA Bumps Corn Yield, Soybean Production

USDA released its monthly Crop Production, Crop Production Annual Summary, Grain Stocks, Winter Wheat Seedings and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) reports at 11 a.m. CST Friday, Jan. 10. (Logo courtesy of USDA)

This article was originally posted at 11:03 a.m. CST. It was last updated at 12:15 p.m.


OMAHA (DTN) -- USDA on Friday bumped up corn yield and soybean production while showing overall lower quarterly stocks for corn, soybeans and wheat from the same period a year ago.

Corn production was forecast at 13.69 billion bushels (bb) with a national average yield of 168 bushels per acre (bpa), 1 bpa higher than last month's forecast.

USDA increased final 2019 soybean production to 3.558 bb, up from 3.550 bb in the December report, a surprise to analysts who expected to see the effects of the historically challenging production season continue to ripple through the country's soybean supplies.

Corn quarterly stocks were down 5% from the same time last year while soybean stocks were down 13% from the same period last year.

According to DTN Lead Analyst Todd Hultman, Friday's new U.S. ending stocks estimates were bearish for corn, neutral for soybeans and wheat; the 2019-20 world ending stocks estimates were neutral for corn, soybeans and wheat; the Grain Stocks report was roughly neutral for corn and soybeans and slightly bullish for wheat.

USDA posted a special note that it would resurvey farmers regarding unharvested corn acreage in Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, as well as soybean acreage not yet harvested in Michigan, North Dakota and Wisconsin. The unharvested area and expected production were included in the totals published in the annual Crop Production report, USDA stated.

Check this page throughoutFriday morning for important highlights from the reports and commentary from our analysts on what the numbers mean.

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USDA forecast corn production at 13.69 bb with a national average yield of 168 bpa, 1 bpa higher than last month's forecast.

The agency lowered its harvested acreage estimate by about 300,000 acres, which offset some of the increased production from a slightly higher average yield. The 13.69 bb production forecast is up 31 mb from last month's estimate and at the high end of pre-report expectations.

USDA's estimate of a 3.558-bb soybean crop for 2019 is a 20% drop from 2018's crop of 4.428 bb.


To reach its 2019 estimate, USDA adjusted the 2019 average soybean yield up half a bushel from the December report to 47.4 bpa, based on increases in Illinois and Indiana. Despite the slight jump upward, that average yield still stands 3.2 bushels below the 2018 crop.

Harvested acres were adjusted down 600,000 acres from the December report to 75 ma, down 14% from last year, with the largest decreases coming from the Dakotas.



Domestic ending stocks for the 2019-20 crop year declined 18 bb from last month's forecast to 1.89 bb, but the agency made some fairly large changes in its forecast for use. USDA increased its forecast for feed and residual use by 250 mb, which it said was based on its latest estimates from the Grain Stocks report. USDA cut the corn export forecast by 75 mb and food, seed and industrial use by 20 mb. The national average farm gate price was unchanged from last month at $3.85 per bushel.

Globally, ending stocks for 2019-20 declined to 297.8 million metric tons (mmt), a 2.75 mmt decline from last month that was in line with the analysts' forecast.


U.S. soybean ending stocks for 2019-20 were left at 475 mb in the January report. The agency left supply and demand almost completely untouched from December, only dropping beginning stocks to 909 mb, boosting production slightly and cutting imports by 5 mb.

The average U.S. soybean farmgate price was increased 15 cents to 9 dollars per bushel, reflecting stronger soybean oil prices.

Globally, USDA left South American soybean production untouched, with Brazil's estimate at 123 mmt and Argentina's 53 mmt. Global ending stocks were pegged at 96.7 mmt, a slight upward adjustment from December's estimate of 96.4 mmt.


USDA forecast 2019-20 domestic ending stocks for wheat at 965 mb, a 9 mb decline from last month's estimate. The change was due to a 10 mb increase in feed and residual use and a 1 mb decline in use for seed. The national average farm gate price was $4.55 per bushel, unchanged from last month.

Globally, USDA revised ending stocks down by 1.42 mmt. USDA lowered foreign production in Russia by 1 mmt and in Australia 0.5 mmt. It also raised production forecasts for the European Union by 0.5 mmt.


Quarterly "disappearance" or usage for soybeans and wheat were both higher from the same period last year running from September to November while corn usage was down slightly.

Corn disappearance was pegged at 4.52 bb, down just slightly from 4.54 bb over the same quarter last year. Corn stored from September to November totaled 11.4 bb, down 5% from the same period last year and right in line with the average pre-report estimates. Of total stocks, USDA reported 7.18 bb on the farm, down 4% from the same period last year. Off-farm stocks was pegged at 4.21 bb, down 6% from a year ago. On-farm storage in states such as North and South Dakota may be a little misleading because of unharvested acres, which USDA still brands as being stored on the farm.

Soybean usage from September to November amounted to 1.22 bb, up 8% from the same period last year. Soybeans stored in all positions on Dec. 1 totaled 3.25 bb, slightly above the pre-report average from analysts and down 13% from the same period last year.

On-farm storage was pegged at 1.53 bb, down 21% from a year ago. Off-farm stocks were reported at 1.73 bb, down 5% from last year.

Wheat usage for the quarter was pegged at 512 million bushels (mb), up 35% from the same period last year. All-wheat stored on Dec. 1 totaled 1.83 bb, lower than the pre-report average estimate and 9% below last year's stored crop. Off-farm stocks were listed at 1.31 bb, down 13% from last year. On-farm stocks were estimated at 519 mb, up 3% from last year.


Farmers planted 30.8 ma to winter wheat this fall, compared to 31.2 ma last year and the average pre-report estimate of 30.7 ma. This represents the second lowest United States acreage on record.

USDA said area seeded to hard red winter wheat is expected to total 21.8 ma, down 3% from 2019.

Soft red winter wheat area, at 5.64 ma, is up 8% from last year.

Farmers planted 3.37 million acres to white winter wheat, a 4% decrease.

In Kansas and Oklahoma, USDA said farmers planted 27,000 acres to canola, 58% below last year. If realized, planted acreages in both states would represent a new record low.


Editor's Note: Join DTN Analyst Todd Hultman at 12 p.m. CST on Friday, Jan. 10, for a look at what the day's numbers mean for grain prices. To register, visit:…

U.S. PRODUCTION (Million Bushels) 2019-20
Jan Avg High Low Dec 2018-19
Corn 13,691 13,494 13,701 13,030 13,661 14,420
Soybeans 3,558 3,519 3,591 3,457 3,550 4,428
WINTER WHEAT ACREAGE (million acres) 2020-21
Jan Avg. High Low 2019-20
All Winter 30.8 30.7 32.2 30.0 31.2
Hard Red 21.8 22.1 23.1 21.6 22.5
Soft Red 5.6 5.1 5.6 4.6 5.2
White 3.4 3.4 3.5 3.3 3.5
QUARTERLY STOCKS (million bushels)
12/1/19 Avg High Low 9/1/19 12/1/18
Corn 11,389 11,416 11,660 10,926 2,114 11,937
Soybeans 3,252 3,179 3,379 3,023 913 3,746
Wheat 1,834 1,922 2,047 1,835 2,385 2,009
U.S. ENDING STOCKS (Million Bushels) 2019-20
Jan Avg High Low Dec 2018-19
Corn 1,892 1,753 1,960 1,479 1,910 2,114
Soybeans 475 432 520 310 475 913
Wheat 965 972 1,000 930 974 1,080
WORLD ENDING STOCKS (million metric tons) 2019-20
Jan Avg High Low Dec
Corn 297.8 297.3 301.0 290.5 300.6
Soybeans 96.7 95.7 97.5 91.7 96.4
Wheat 288.1 288.2 290.0 284.0 289.5