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AccuWeather's Latest: Poor 2019 Yield for Corn, Soybeans
USAgNet - 09/10/2019

The latest AccuWeather 2019 crop production analysis affirms the belief that 2019 will be a down year for corn and soybean production both in terms of quantity and quality. AccuWeather analysts predict the 2019 corn yield will be 13.36 billion bushels compared to 14.42 billion in 2018, while the soybean yield will be 3.658 billion bushels compared to 4.543 billion bushels in 2018.

It would be the lowest corn yield since 2012, a year of significant drought that saw corn production numbers fall to 10.76 billion bushels. Also, it would be the smallest soybean yield since 2013 (3.357 billion bushels).

"Corn and soybeans are still about a week or two behind where they should be, which makes them vulnerable to a frost, even if it's on time," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls. "And we think it's a little-higher-than-usual probability that we'll get that first frost on time.

"If we get that on-time freeze, there could be a little damage," Nicholls said. "We think there will be scattered frost and not anything that would be a widespread problem, but it's probably going to be a close call."

The wet weather at the start of the growing season led to late planting and tough conditions for both crops.

"Corn and soybeans are both susceptible to frost," David Dyson wrote to AccuWeather. He's the agronomist for The Andersons, Inc., an agriculture-related company involved in commodity training, among other operations. "When soybeans encounter an early frost, they just stop growing and their seed will start to dry down. This results in significantly smaller soybean seeds ... which can lead to a 20-bushel-per acre reduction in yield."

AccuWeather is predicting a 7.9% drop in soybean bushels per acre from 2018 and a 5.3% drop in corn bushels per acre.

"I'm really surprised how many farmers decided to plant corn so late in the season," said Nicholls. "It's surprising the farmers did that, knowing they probably weren't going to get that much and also the fact that they planted more acres means there's more corn available, which drives the prices down. It's baffling why they did it."

The USDA will release its monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) on Thursday, Sept. 12. In August, the WASDE report showed an estimated yield of 13.90 billion bushels for corn and 3.68 billion bushels for soybeans.

"This is going to be a poor soybean crop, not anywhere near the 51.6 bushels per acre last year," Nicholls said. "The question is how bad will it be? There was too much wet weather earlier, and that's what's going to cut into the bushels per acre for the country as a whole."

"We're in uncharted territory with so much of the corn and nearly all of the soybeans planted in late May or sometime in June," Emerson Nafziger, professor emeritus of crop sciences at the University of Illinois, wrote to AccuWeather.

"The problem is getting the crop to the finish line," AccuWeather's Nicholls said. "It's been a little warmer recently and that's been helpful. But it's been cooler farther north; it's that area where they're going to struggle to get to the finish line before the first frost. The states that are farthest behind in corn maturity are Michigan, Minnesota and North Dakota and for soybeans it's Missouri, Michigan and Indiana."

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