August 14, 2020 | Reuters

Corn Crop Questioned after USDA Report

Some are skeptical of numbers given Monday's storm losses could reach 400M bushels

Traders knew that the U.S. Department of Agriculture would be forecasting enormous harvests for domestic corn and soybeans even before the outlook was published Wednesday, but that has not removed uncertainty about the size of the corn crop given Monday’s damaging storm.

According to a report at Reuters, industry analysts expect that the storm was much more detrimental to corn than soybeans, which are now flirting with record harvest prospects.

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service said that Wednesday’s harvest outlooks were based on conditions as of Aug. 1 via a special note at the top of its crop production report. NASS placed corn yield at 181.8 bushels per acre and production at 15.278 billion bushels, both record highs.

But now some are skeptical of those numbers given that storm losses could reach 400 million bushels, according to some analysts.

Next month’s report will be the first to incorporate objective yield measurements such as ear and pod counts. NASS said on Twitter Wednesday that a leaning stalk would be counted in the objective yield survey, but a stalk that is broken off would not.

The opinions expressed here are those of the author, a columnist for Reuters.

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