USDA economists deliver corn crop forecast
ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) - Last month USDA economists forecast this year’s corn crop to be over 15 billion bushels on yields over 180 bushels an acre. But when they release their September estimates later this morning, those numbers are expected to be smaller because of some dry August weather and the Derecho storm that hit Iowa and other parts of the Midwest. Surveys of grain traders show they’re expecting a corn crop of around 14.8 billion bushels on yields of just under 178 bushels an acre. That would put ending stocks at just over 2.4 billion bushels. In August ending stocks were projected to be over 3 billion bushels. Those numbers would put average corn prices for the year in the low $3 range. The size of this year’s soybean crop is also expected to be down from the August estimates. Traders now expect a crop of just under 4.3 billion bushels-a slight drop from the 4.42 billion forecast in August. Yields are expected to be down just over 1 bushel per acre to 51.6. Those figures would lower ending soybean stocks by 150 million bushels-down to 461 million but increase the expected soybean price to near $10. That report comes out at 11 o’clock this morning.
It’s almost a done deal-a second Coronavirus Food Assistance Program that is. Last Friday the details of the program were sent from the USDA to Office of management and budget for review. The new program would cover farmer losses from April 15th through the end of the year and would have about $14 billion to cover those losses. Observers say OMB isn’t likely to make any significant changes to the program and should okay the plan soon.
Sign-up for the first Coronavirus Food Assistance program ends today at county Farm Service Agency offices. That program covers over 160 farm commodities and has $16 billion to send to farmers around the country. So far the USDA has sent out only about $10 billion of that total.
If you’re a hemp grower, be careful with your crop. A Vermont hemp grower lost his entire crop earlier this week-to thieves. Police say a group of thieves got into the field that was marked as hemp and sheared off and stole the entire crop-amounting to about 500 pounds of hemp. Officials valued the crop at $6,000. State rules in Vermont will make it hard for the thieves to sell the plants but it should make for a high time this weekend for somebody.
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