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How small is the U.S. corn crop?

09/02/2011 @ 3:52pm

With a long holiday weekend ahead followed by a short-trading week, the grain traders have already started to look towards the September 12 USDA Crop Report.

To help the traders focus, a number of private estimates on yield and crop size have been released. The question is just how long will these smaller-than-expected estimates be digested by the market?

For corn, most estimates are being pegged at 150 bushels per acre or less. It's that 'less' that the market is trying figure out. Just how small will this year's corn crop get?

Late this week, anecdotal reports had southern Illinois corn yields coming in better-than-expected. Some felt like that was the catalyst for the sharp drop in the market on Wednesday. 

For soybeans, the general consensus is the USDA could print a 41.0 bushel per acre average yield. Of course, that number gets bigger as more rain falls in parts of the Midwest. For areas that don't catch rainfall, that yield estimate gets smaller.

Also, next week's Crop Progress Report is expected to show a decline in the soybean crop condition, for the third week in a row.

So, the traders and analysts that I talk to are waiting for fresh USDA numbers and results from yield monitors inside the combines that are rolling through cornfields.


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