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USDA yield forecasts take farmers, analysts by surprise

USDA yield forecasts take farmers, analysts by surprise

The first survey-based corn and soybean yield estimate of this year’s crop, released last week, showed the effect of dry weather and other crop problems. But the reductions that showed up in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report did not match traders’ expectations.

U.S. corn production for 2017 is forecast at 14.2 billion bushels, down 102 million bushels from the July projection, the USDA said in its report. The season’s first survey-based corn yield forecast, at 169.5 bushels per acre, is 1.2 bushels lower than last month’s trend-based projection.

New-crop U.S. soybean production was forecast at a record 4.38 billion bushels, up 121 million from last month on higher yields. Harvested area is forecast at 88.7 million acres, unchanged from July. The first survey-based soybean yield forecast of 49.4 bushels per acre was 1.4 bushels above last month, but 2.7 bushels below last year’s record.

Surprising analysts

The USDA estimates surprised...




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