Corn and soybean crops were big in 2013, but not quite as big as previously estimated, according to results of the latest Farm Futures survey.
The magazine's survey of more than 1,600 growers in December found a record corn crop of 13.897 billion bushels, 92 million less than USDA reported in November. The agency updates its estimates Jan. 10, in a key series of data releases.
A small reduction in both yields and harvested acreage accounted for the changes found by Farm Futures. The survey put yields at 159.8 bpa nationwide, down a half-bushel from USDA's last tally. The magazine found 587,000 fewer harvested acres, with the total at 86.96 million.
"The slightly smaller crop combined with a little better demand means projected 2013 crop ending stocks could fall to 1.654 billion bushels," says Senior Editor Bryce Knorr, who conducted the research. "That's about 140 million less than the government's last estimate, and it could help prices find at least a little stability."
Farm Futures estimates Dec. 1 corn stocks at 10.782 billion bushels, suggesting feed usage in line with previous estimates.
The survey found only a small 4 million bushel decline in soybean production, with the total put at 3.254 billion bushels. Yields reported by growers surveyed of 42.7 bpa were a little less than USDA's last estimate of 43, but the magazine found harvested acres up 522,000 to 76.21 million.
The magazine estimates stable soybean ending stocks of 147 million, 3 million fewer than the government's December forecast. Dec. 1 soybean stocks were put at 2.224 billion, up 258 million from a year ago.
"Strong demand should keep stocks from growing much despite the increases in Dec. 1 inventory," said Knorr.
The Jan. 10 reports include USDA's first estimate of winter wheat seedings, though Farm Futures first surveyed farmers about their plans last summer. The latest survey puts seedings at 43.347 million, up less than 1% from a year ago, but about 250,000 more than the magazine found late in the summer.
"Our latest survey found farmers seeded less soft red winter wheat but more hard red winter wheat," said Knorr. "The late harvest this fall and better moisture on the Plains worked into these shifts."
Farm Futures will release updated corn, soybean and spring wheat planting intentions for 2014 on Tuesday, Jan. 6, to coincide with the annual Farm Futures Business Summit in St. Louis.