South Dakota corn projections continued to fall as the state’s estimated corn crop dipped 3 percent from last month’s USDA projections, and 16 percent from last year’s total. Today’s U.S. Department of Agriculture Crop Report forecasted a total of 595 million bushels which is down from last year’s level by 11 percent but is still estimated to be the state’s second largest corn crop on record.
State corn yields are projected at 140 bushels per acre, down 5 bushels from last month and 11 bushels from last year’s record crop, but are up 7 bushels from 2008. Estimated acres to be harvested remained unchanged at 4.25 million, but down 9 percent from last year’s record total.
“Too much rain, too often, seemed to be a problem that stretched across the state,” said Gary Duffy, president of the South Dakota Corn Growers Association.
Declining yields continued throughout the Corn Belt as USDA projections showed 154.3 bushels per acre average with a total of crop of 12.54 billion bushels, down slightly from last month’s estimate of 155.8 bushels per acre and 12.664 billion bushels. 2009′s crop totaled 13.110 billion bushels with an average yield of 164.7 bushels per acre.
The price per bushel went up this month compared to last month’s USDA report. The 2010/2011 marketing-year average farm price is projected at $4.80 to $5.60 per bushel, up 20 cent s on both ends of the range.
The USDA predictions expect feed and residual use to be lowered by 100 million bushels due to higher prices. Ethanol production is projected to use an additional 100 million bushels as record production continues. Exports are expected to decrease by 50 million bushels as higher prices trim export demand.
A dryer than average fall has allowed most producers to complete their harvest in quick fashion. According to the USDA Ag Statistics Service, as of November 7, 93 percent of the corn in the state has been harvested, compared to just 17 percent at this time last year and 63 percent for the five-year average.
“Supply may not be as high as originally projected, but this is still an outstanding crop and it should a testament to our increased use of biotechnology,” said Duffy. “We can’t control the rain, but improved seed traits enable our crop to tolerate South Dakota’s unpredictable growing season, ensuring a bountiful harvest that will meet all demands.”