Knowledge Exchange

Ag Economy

Cash Field Crop

  • A wet start to the 2019 growing season reduced crop yields nationally, as millions of acres were left unplanted, and others were planted late or were in fair to poor condition. However, in the Northeast, many areas saw significant improvement over the summer.
  • The weather had a negative impact on the nation’s crops, driving corn yields down by 8 bu/ac to 168.4.
  • Corn planted area came in at 89.9 million acres, a 1% increase over 2018. With the below-trend yield, 2019 production is estimated at 13,661 million bushels, 5% below last year.
  • Prevented planting claims set a record in 2019 at 20 million acres.
  • As a result of weak prices, soybean planted acreage was sharply lower in 2019, coming in at 76.5 million acres, 14% below 2018. Yields were below trend, at 46.9 bu/ac, 7% below last year.1
  • In New York, harvests generally came in later than normal, however, some New York growers report that corn silage yields were excellent. Other areas struggled to complete harvest with wet late fall weather.
  • The US Energy Information Administration projects ethanol production will fall by 2% in 2020. The U.S. ethanol industry is facing supply gluts and negative returns, leading a number of plants to close or reduce production.
  • 2019 corn exports were 8% below 2018 due to trade disputes and ample world supplies.
  • In addition to trade disputes, the impact of African Swine Fever in China has reduced potential export demand for feed grains and oilseeds.
  • Still, robust domestic demand and weather-impacted production have meant that prices have held up relatively well.
  • USDA forecasts corn prices for the 2019/20 market year, at $3.85 (2018/19: $3.61), and soybeans at $9.00 (2018/19: $8.48).

1 USDA WASDE October 2019