Average corn yield in 2017 was forecast at 169.5 bushels an acre, down 3% from 174.6 bushels in 2016. Harvested area of corn was forecast at 83.5 million acres, unchanged from the June Acreage report but down 4% from last year. The average soybean yield was forecast at 49.4 bushels an acre, down 5% from 52.1 bushels last year, with harvested area forecast at a record high 88.7 million acres, unchanged from June but up 7% from 2016.
If realized, soybean production would be record high, topping the previous record of 4.307 billion bushels in 2016. Corn production would be the third highest on record after last year’s record of 15.148 billion bushels and 14.216 billion bushels in 2014.
Production of spring wheat other than durum was estimated at 401.554 million bushels, down 5% from the July forecast and down 25% from 534.027 million bushels in 2016 based on a yield of 38.3 bushels an acre, down 2 bushels from July and down 8.9 bushels from last year, and harvested area of 10.5 million acres, unchanged from June but down 7% from last year.
U.S. durum production was forecast at 50,535,0000 bushels, down 12% from July and down 51% from 104.116 million bushels in 2016. Average yield was forecast at 27.2 bushels an acre, down 3.7 bushels from July and down 16.8 bushels from 2016, with harvested area at 1.86 million acres, unchanged from July but down 21% from a year ago.
Winter wheat outturn was estimated at 1.287 billion bushels, up 1% from July but down 23% from 1.671 billion bushels in 2016. Average yield was estimated at 50 bushels an acre, up 0.3 bushel from July but down 5.3 bushels from 2016. Harvested area was estimated at 25.8 million acres, unchanged from July but down 15% from 2016.
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 below the trade average.
Corn, soybean and wheat futures traded sharply lower immediately after the USDA report was released.
It was the first survey-based forecasts for corn and soybeans. Estimates were based on conditions as of Aug. 1.