Not Much Chance USDA Will Change Corn Yield or Acreage

September 23, 2016



Early corn yield reports have been good, but pretty variable. There are more than few concerns about a disease called diplodia, too. Some are beginning to piece these items together to make a case for USDA to lower its corn yield estimate. This isn’t very likely thinks University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Darrel Good.

“The fact is”, says Darrel Good, “if you look at the last 20 years of history, there is a strong tendency of the corn yield estimate to get higher in January compared to what it was in September. This has happened 70% of the time in the last 20 years, and almost 70% of the time in the last 40 years. So, those looking for a lower estimate are bucking history, but you can’t rule it out.”

Maybe not, but even if the USDA yield changes it won’t be by much thinks Darrel Good. Certainly not enough to really alter the supply/demand balance sheet changing it from a surplus to a tight supply situation. He doesn’t expect USDA to change the acreage numbers much either. This is because the difference between the Farm Service Agency reported acreage figures released in August and then again in September was very small.

This tells Darrel Good reporting has occurred in a very timely fashion. Therefore, he doesn’t look for an FSA increase in subsequent reports. Historically when the dust settles on corn, NASS acreage is three to three-and-a-half percent higher than FSA, says the U of I number cruncher, and about two percent higher on soybeans. This is right in the range where the FSA numbers set today.

Consequently, Darrel Good does not expect NASS to change its corn acreage estimate very much going forward. If this is the case, it leaves the U.S. with record corn yield and production figures.