The USDA made several updates for the 2016/17 crop year in the latest World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates. The USDA is projecting 94.1 million acres of corn to be planted this year, and of that 86.6 million acres are expected to be harvested. Corn yield for the 2016/17 crop year is projected at 175.1 bu/acre a 7.1 bu/acre increase over the July estimate and much higher than pre-report expectations. If the acreage and yield hold true, U.S. producers are expected to produce a record 15.1 billion bushels of corn. Feed and residual use was increased by 175 million bushels, a reflection of lower prices and increased production from beef, poultry, and pork. Exports were also increased by 125 million bushels. Despite the increases in demand for corn, ending stocks were revised up by 328 million bushels from a month ago. The large U.S. crop has also driven global corn production much higher, with global production increased by nearly 18 million metric tons. Most of the increase is due to higher U.S. production, although Argentina is expecting a larger crop as well. An increase in global feed use has eaten up some of the increase in production, but ending stocks are still up more than 12 billion metric tons globally. Mississippi corn yields were also released this month. Mississippi producers are expected to average 172 bu/acre on corn this year, slightly behind last year’s 175 bu/acre benchmark.
The 2015/16 soybean balance also saw several changes from the July WASDE report. Soybean harvested acres were left unchanged at 83.0 million acres while yields were bumped up by 2.2 bu/acre to 48.9, much higher than expected. Soybean crush was up 15 million bushels from a month ago while exports are up 30 million bushels from last month’s estimates. Beginning stocks were lowered by 95 million bushels, mostly a reflection of higher than expected exports for the old crop. Ending stocks for 2015/16 were increased 40 million bushels to 330 million bushels. Global soybean production is also 4.46 million metric tons higher than a month ago, driven almost entirely by higher U.S. production. The larger crop will now put the U.S. back on top of Brazil as the world’s largest soybean producer. While slight increases in demand have helped some, global ending stocks are still 4.1 million metric tons higher than last month. Mississippi soybean producers are expected to see slightly higher soybean yields than a year ago at 47 bu/acre compared to 46 bu/acre a year ago.
The 2015/16 wheat crop balance sheet saw several minor changes. Acreage remained the same, but wheat yields were increased by 1.3 bu/acre to 52.6 bu/acre. Food use was increased by 5 million bushels, while feed use was increased by 30 million bushels as the crop has become more competitive with corn as an alternative feed source. Exports were increased by 25 million bushels, leaving ending stocks 5 million bushels lower than a month ago at 1.1 billion bushels. Globally, wheat production was increased by 4.94 million metric tons, driven primarily by higher production in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the former Soviet Union. Increases in demand have more than offset the increased production, leaving global ending stocks down by 0.88 million metric tons.
The cotton balance sheet saw several revisions this month as well. Cotton harvested acres was increased by 230,000 acres to 9.53 million acres while yields were reduced by 15 pounds per acre. Those changes left cotton production up slightly at 15.88 million bales. Domestic use and exports were unchanged from last month, leaving ending stocks up by 100,000 bales at 4.7 million bales. Global cotton production was lowered by 0.97 million bales due mostly to lower Chinese and Indian production. The decrease in production combined with lower carryover from 2015/16 left global ending stocks down 1.68 million bales. Mississippi producers are expecting improved cotton yields this year at 1,133 pounds per acre compared to 1,024 a year ago.