WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in its Aug. 10 Crop Production report forecast 2018 U.S. production of corn at 14.586 billion bushels, down 0.1% from 2017, soybeans at a record 4.586 billion bushels, up 4.4%, and all wheat at 1.877 billion bushels, down 0.3% from July but up 8% from 2017.
Average corn yield in 2018 was forecast at a record 178.4 bushels an acre, up 1% from 176.6 bushels in 2017. Harvested area of corn was forecast at 81.8 million acres, unchanged from the June Acreage report but down 1% from last year. The average soybean yield was forecast at 51.6 bushels an acre, up 5% from 49.1 bushels last year and the second highest on record after 52 bushels per acre in 2016. Harvested area was forecast at 88.9 million acres, unchanged from June but down 1% from 2017.
If realized, soybean production would be record high, topping the previous record of 4.392 billion bushels in 2017. Corn production would be the third highest on record after last year’s 14.604 billion bushels and the record of 15.148 billion bushels in 2016.
Production of spring wheat other than durum was estimated at 614.154 billion bushels, up slightly from the July forecast and up 48% from 416,236,000 bushels in 2017 based on a yield of 47.6 bushels an acre, unchanged from July and up 6.6 bushels from last year, and harvested area of 12.9 million acres, unchanged from July but up 27% from 2017.
U.S. durum production was forecast at 73,432,000 bushels, down 2% from July but up 34% from 54,909,000 bushels in 2017. Average yield was forecast at 39.9 bushels an acre, down 0.8 bushels from July but up 14.2 bushels from 2017, with harvested area at 1.84 million acres, unchanged from July but down 14% from a year ago.
Winter wheat outturn was estimated at 1,189,199,000 bushels, down 0.3% from July and down 6% from 1,269,437,000 bushels in 2017. Average yield was estimated at 47.9 bushels an acre, down 0.1 bushel from July and down 2.3 bushels from 2017. Harvested area was estimated at 24.8 million acres, down slightly from July and down 2% from 2017.
The USDA forecasts for corn, soybeans, all wheat, winter wheat and other spring wheat all were above the average of trade expectations while the durum forecast was slightly below the trade average.
Corn and wheat futures traded lower and soybean futures sharply lower after the USDA report was released. Projected 2019 carryover of corn and soybeans in the USDA’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report that were above average trade expectations added pressure to corn and soybean futures.
It was the first survey-based forecasts for corn and soybeans. Estimates were based on conditions as of Aug. 1.