Knowledge Exchange

Ag Economy

Cash Field Crop

  • A wet start to the growing season threatened to reduce this year’s crops as millions of acres were left unplanted. Many acres were also planted late or were in fair to poor condition. However, in the Northeast, many areas saw significant improvement over the summer.
  • The weather did have a negative impact on the nation’s crops, driving corn yields down by eight bushels per acre (bu/ac) to 168.4.
  • Corn planted area is estimated at 89.9 million acres – a 1% increase over last year. With the estimated yield, total production is forecast at 13,779 million bushels – 4% 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. This was 14% below 2018. Yields are forecast below trend at 46.9 bu/ac – 7% below last year.1
  • As of October 13 in New York, only 36% of the corn silage crop was harvested compared to the five-year average of 74%. Only 14% of the soybean crop was harvested compared to 28% last year.2 However, western NY growers report that corn silage yields are excellent.
  • The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects ethanol production will fall by 2% next year. The U.S. ethanol industry is facing a supply glut and negative returns leading a number of plants to close or reduce production.
  • Corn exports are expected to come in 8% below last year due to trade disputes and ample world supplies.
  • In addition to trade disputes, the impact of African Swine Fever in China will reduce 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 $3.80 (2018/19: $3.60) and soybeans at $9.00 (2018/19: $8.48).

1 USDA WASDE October 2019
2 USDA/NASS