Ag Chat with Scott Schultz - August 13

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ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU)- Many commodity observers expressed surprise yesterday at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's updated revised planting survey. The survey increased estimated U.S. corn production to 13.9 billion bushels and raised the average national yield by more than three bushels, to 169.5 bushels an acre. The pre-report estimate was 13.2 billion bushels. The number of corn acres planted was set at 90 million acres - down a 1.7 million acres compared with previous estimates. The revised report was issued after commodity trade people argued that the June estimates were too high, considering this year's late planting season. The August report also said farmers planted 76.7 million acres to soybeans and, with a national average yield of 48.5 bushels per acre, the total production is estimated at 3.68 billion bushels - a 19 percent decrease from last year's production.

The USDA yesterday also released the Farm Service Agency's first estimate of prevented planting acres for 2019. It estimated the prevented-planting acreage at 19.3 million acres, with 11.2 million acres of corn and 4.4 million acres of soybeans not planted. The FSA reports that 85.9 million acres of corn and 74 million acres of soybeans were planed.

The progress of most Wisconsin crops continues to lag behind normal growth. Yesterday's National Agricultural Statistics Service Crop Progress Report said the state's corn-silking was 72 percent complete as of Sunday, 15 days behind last year and 11 days behind the five-year average. Fourteen percent of corn had reached the dough stage, which is 11 days behind last year and eight days behind average. The corn condition was rated 63 percent good to excellent, down 2 percent compared with last week. The soybeans' blooming was at 75 percent, 15 days behind last year and 14 days behind average. Fifty percent of soybeans were setting pods, which is 11 days behind average. The soybean condition was ranked 66 percent good to excellent, which is down 3 percent compared with last week. Ninety-eight percent of oats was headed, with the oat condition at 71 percent good to excellent. The state's alfalfa harvest was 93 percent complete, which is 14 days behind last year and 10- days later than normal; the all-hay condition was ranked 58 percent good to excellent. The state's pasture condition was ranked 63 percent good to excellent. The topsoil moisture was rated 1 percent very short, 7 percent short, 80 percent adequate and 14 percent surplus.

And, the National Ag Statistics Service said 9 percent of Wisconsin's potato harvest is complete. That's a week behind normal. The service ranked the state's potato condition at 83 percent good to excellent.