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Yields up in the air, farmers say

Last week’s USDA monthly report kept farmers debating yield prospects for the 2010 crop, and left the market guessing the direction of the fall harvest.

“Psychology will rule the grain markets from now until harvest gets into full swing, said Nebraska farmer and markets analyst Roy Smith.  “Farmers will be arguing whether the numbers released today are accurate,” he wrote in his Friday Agriculture.com column.  “Those in areas affected by flooding or drought will argue that the government still has production too high. Traders will debate whether the bullish numbers have already been bid into the corn price.”

Despite high expectations this year, some of the early returns on corn yields have been disappointing, according to farmer reports.

“After the dust has settled, what I thought was a poor corn crop turned out to be just that. I averaged 106 bushels per acre.  This is way below my average in 2009 of 141 bushels per acre," said a Tennessee farmer in Crop Talk. “In my honest opinion, I don't expect a bumper crop on anything in the Mid-South in 2010.”

An Indiana grower says, “I’ve been through droughts and floods and there has never been a year that I haven't produced more than the USDA's estimate, but it looks like this may be the year. Harvested three fields with three different numbers/varieties and each one was at 20 bushels less than anticipated.”

Michigan farmer, after opening up a field this week, reported: “The quality of the corn looked really good but yields won't be a bin buster.”

Comment on your own crop yields and read the full discussion: Crop Talk.

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