Fundamentally Speaking

Aug. Rains vs. Sept. Bean Yield Estimates

Today the USDA released the September crop production report and NOAA issued their August weather data.

The USDA did lower the national soybean yield from 42.6 bushels per acre (bpa) to 41.2 bpa and that is what the market was anticipating.

Meanwhile NOAA reported that four Midwest states ranked among the driest on record (since 1895) with Illinois the 3rd driest, Indiana 4th, and Iowa and Minnesota ranked 7th driest in the history of each state.

August tis a key developmental month for soybeans for that is when they usually set and fill pods and dry conditions can seriously impair that process.

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This graphic shows August 2013 precipitation as a percent of the 1950-2012 average for each of the top 18 soybean producing states.

These are compared to the percent that the September 2013 USDA soybean yield estimate for each state deviates from the 1970-2012 trend value.

Iowa has received a lot of attention on the drying trend that started in July and has continued into this month.

Their rainfall last month averaged 1.55 inches across the state, a mere 38% of the average 4.08 inches and the 43.0 bpa yield is off 15.4% from the 1970-2012 trend of 50.8 bpa for 2013.

Illinois had only 46.2% of their normal August rains with soybean yields 4.9% below trend, Indiana with 52.5% of normal rains and yields 2.2% below trend while Minnesota had just half of their average August precipitation with yields 10.8% below trend.

Note that the southern and Delta states had better rains and yields while the uneven distribution of moisture in some of the Corn Belt states led to disappointing yields.

For instance, the NOAA data indicates that Missouri had 111% of their normal August rains yet the September bean yield estimate of 35 bpa is 10.9% below trend.

Fact is that despite the dry condition in northern Missouri, the heavy rains in the south brought the statewide total above normal for the month.

Yet most soybeans in the Show Me state are grown in the northern half.


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