October 28, 2008

Error lowers corn production estimate

The U.S. Department of Agriculture today corrected errors in two reports it issued October 10, lowering planted and harvested area for corn by 1.0 million acres.

This cut corn production from 12.2 billion bushels to 12.0 billion. While correcting this error, USDA lowered expected feed/residual use 50 million bushels to 5.3 billion, reduced corn exports 50 million bushels to 1.95 billion and lowered 2008-09 ending stocks to 1.09 billion, a drop of 66 million but still above the psychologically important 1 billion bushel mark.

USDA then raised the anticipated average farm price a nickel to $4.25-5.25/bu. (Most farmers would be happy with that right now.)

For the corrected crop production details, click here.
For the abbreviated and corrected supply/demand report, click here.

In addition to the 1.2 percent drop in corn acres, USDA reported 1.4 percent fewer planted acres for soybeans, 1.9 percent fewer acres planted acres for canola, 0.8 percent fewer planted acres for sunflowers and 0.7 percent fewer planted acres for dry edible beans. Sorghum planted acres, though, increased 2.5 percent.

Despite the change in acreage estimates, the 2008 corn crop is still on track to be the second largest on record, while the soybean crop will be the fourth largest. (For the lowdown on the original USDA estimates, click here.)

Meanwhile, a couple of analysts thought USDA may take the opportunity alter yield estimates - raising corn and lowering soybeans. While anecdotal talk from the field continues to support that notion, we'll have to wait for the next regular report, due out November 10, for that information.

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