Despite concerns about crop yields earlier this summer for Ohio corn and soybean farmers, the USDA’s August Crop Production Report forecast for 2014 predicted nothing but good things for the industry. In fact, production numbers for corn crops are expected to be the largest ever, while soybean crops are expected to be the third largest ever.
According to the USDA, an estimated 14.03 billion bushels of corn are predicted during harvest this year, up from 3.925 in 2013. Soybean crops are expected to produce 3.816 billion bushels during harvest, up from 3.3 billion last year. Due to such a large influx in production, U.S. soybean stockpiles are expected to more than triple in the 2014-15 year, with soybean prices expected to lower by nearly 3 percent.
Six other states are expected to experience high crop yields for corn and soybeans this year due to higher-than-normal levels of rain seen throughout the Farm Belt. These high-producers of corn and soybeans have experienced almost perfect conditions this year, many citing the best soil moisture in a decade. Other farmers are attributing the predicted higher crop yields to technology, such as genetically modified seeds, large equipment and GPS programs that have helped them to determine optimum planting conditions.
Ohio farmers are not as happy about the report as some may expect, with profits expected to reach an all-time low since the recession. At the lowest they have been in four years, corn prices are down by 13 percent this year, with soybeans also lower than usual, meaning that farmers are not bringing in profits. Pair this with the decrease in livestock herds, resulting in a decreased demand in feed, and you will understand why farmers are so worried. The demand is not where it should be for the volume of corn and soybeans that is being produced, with the possibility that farmers may not even break even for the first time since 2006.
With harvest season approaching quickly, I am interested to see how actual yield numbers will match up with those predicted by the USDA. It will also be interesting to see how these numbers impact the U.S. economy for both farmers and consumers. Do you think numbers will be as high as expected?