USDA’s September 12 Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates reports provided updated projections for the size of the 2016 U.S. harvest and for global supply and utilization of agricultural commodities. All eyes were on the U.S. corn and soybean new-crop balance sheets as these totals were revised based on USDA’s September 1 objective yield data. Specifically, the consensus in the trade was that USDA would increase the soybean yield by three-tenths of a bushel per acre but lower the U.S. corn yield estimate by 1.7 bushels per acre.

USDA did not disappoint (for soybeans). Favorable weather across the Corn Belt in August led to record high implied pod weights and contributed to USDA increasing the soybean yield estimate by 1.7 bushels to 50.6 bushels per acre, an increase of 5 percent year-over-year. Illinois and Nebraska saw the largest increase in the soybean yield estimate from last month at 4 bushels per acre, Figure 1.

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