Market News & Headlines >> USDA Seen Cutting Crop Estimates Due to Derecho, Drought

USDA is expected to cut its estimates of U.S. corn and soybean production in Friday morning’s monthly Crop Production report, reflecting crop damage done by the severe derecho that swept through the Midwest on Aug. 10 and ongoing drought conditions in the western Corn Belt. 

Trade estimates of U.S. corn production average avg. 14.891 billion bushels, 387 million below USDA's August estimate in a range from 14.625-15.095 billion, according to a Bloomberg survey of 28 analysts.  Pre-report estimates of the U.S. corn yield average 178.4 bushels per acre in a range from 176.0-181.0 bushels compared with USDA’s August estimate of 181.8 bushels. 

Trade expectations for U.S. soybean production average 4.292 billion bushels, 133 million below USDA's August estimate in a range from 4.174-4.391 billion bushels, according to a Bloomberg survey. Trade estimates of the U.S. yield average 51.7 bushels per acre in a range from 50.1-52.9 bushels, compared with USDA’s August estimate of 53.3 bushels. 

The corn and soybean markets will be playing close attention to USDA’s estimates of the average Iowa corn and soybean yields and the state’s harvested acres in the wake of the Aug. 10 derecho that swept across the Midwest from eastern South Dakota through Ohio. The powerful storm hit Iowa hardest, damaging an estimated 13.8 million acres of Iowa corn and soybean fields, according to USDA, which has resurveyed Iowa producers for harvested acreage in advance of Friday’s Crop Production report. 

In addition, crops across much of Iowa have been hurt by drought this year. Iowa statewide average rainfall for August was only 31% of normal, according to preliminary data from the Midwest Regional Climate Center.