At the general session of the recent American Seed Trade Association (ASTA)’s annual expo, Dan Basse, president of AgResource Co., noted that the final reckoning on the drought was better that expected — at least in terms of pod weights.

“We were just shocked at how the corn and soybean crops held together as well as they did,” he said.

He noted that U.S. crops yielded record low pod counts as a result of the drought; however, the pod weights were two standard deviations above the record.

“U.S. soybean yields ended up being 3.5 to 4 bushels an acre more than we expected and that’s largely due to the technology now being bred into seed,” said Basse.

But he is concerned about next year’s weather patterns and what they may mean for the 2013 crop yield, particularly in light of the fact that drought impacted Russia, Australia and portions of Latin America in 2012. Finally, he warned that since the last Farm Bill’s crop insurance policy helped save farm income in 2012, it would be a whole different picture without such a safety net.