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USDA Slightly Raises Its Outlook for US Corn and Soybeans

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The USDA slightly increased its outlook for US corn and soybean production in the last estimates the agency will issue for the 2023 growing season before reporting final numbers in January. 

In its November WASDE report, the USDA forecast corn yields of 174.9 bushels per acre, up 1.1% from last month’s estimate. Corn production is also seen up about 1%, to 15.234 billion bushels (386.9 million tonnes) — which would mark a record corn harvest. 

Nearly every major corn-growing state saw an increase in estimated yields as harvesting proceeded. US corn ending stocks for 2023/24 are projected to be the highest in five years. 

The soybean yield estimate also was raised, to 49.9 bu/acre, and production is seen at 4.129 billion bushels (112.4 million tonnes), both up 0.6% from last month. Despite the projected uptick in supplies, soybean ending stocks will remain at their tightest levels in eight years. 

Gro’s machine-learning US corn and soybean Yield Forecast Models ended the season with forecasts well above the latest USDA estimates. NDVI, a satellite-derived measure of plant health and a key driver of Gro’s yield forecast models, showed high values for the peak periods of the growing season. 

In the past seven years, Gro’s US Corn Yield Forecast Model has been within 1.7% of the USDA final January report by September. Gro’s US Soybean Yield Forecast Model, over the past five years, has been within 1.0% of the USDA’s final number by September. This Gro display shows a historical comparison between Gro’s US corn and soybean Yield Forecast Models and USDA estimates.

Globally, the USDA further cut its production outlook for Argentina’s drought-hit wheat crop — down 9.1% from the agency’s estimate last month. October rains were too late to aid the Argentine crop. India’s wheat crop was lowered by 2.6% on revised Indian government estimates, while Brazil was cut by 4.1% due to excessive rains in the south. 

Those wheat outlook declines were offset by increased estimates out of Russia, up 5.9% from last month. Russia’s wheat crop saw record yields in the latest year, according to Gro’s Russia Wheat Yield Forecast Model

The USDA left unchanged its forecasts for Brazil and Argentina corn and soybean production. However, growing conditions, particularly out of Brazil — with dryness and high temperatures in the north and excessive rains in the south — bear close monitoring, as Gro highlighted here

Gro users can keep tabs on Brazil and Argentina forecasted crop yields, growing conditions, and export prices using our South American Crop Monitor Displays for corn and soybeans. Gro’s machine-learning yield forecast models will begin generating daily forecasts in mid-December when the crops become established. 

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