Soybeans: Mostly favorable in the east; mixed in the west. It’s a given that August is the most critical month for soybean yields and generally, the eastern Midwest begins the month in good shape. There are pockets with exceptional potential under good August weather; and still good even if weather isn’t so good. The area from southeastern Illinois, up into the Champaign-Urbana-Danville area; then eastward toward Lafayette, IN, and north of Indianapolis was performing strikingly well, with vigorous vegetative growth and showing potential for active pod setting. The Missouri River Valley region (eastern Nebraska, western Iowa, and southwestern Minnesota, portions of central Iowa from Ames south and east) also revealed consistent good prospects, although perhaps a step down from the best areas of the eastern Corn Belt. Areas that were more problematic (meaning that August weather will be more critical for yields) include north central and northeast Iowa; south-central and eastern Minnesota. Western to northwestern Illinois was also late, making August weather important there, too. But the worst of these areas was generally north central and partially northeast Iowa, where many fields were clearly planted very late in June.
Doane forecasts 2013 soybean production at 3.333 billion bushels. That is up from the drought-damaged 2012 crop at 3.015 billion, but down from USDA’s July WASDE at 3.420 billion. It would be very similar to the 2010 crop that totaled 3.329 billion. (The previous record harvest was in 2009 at 3.359 billion.) Doane’s national yield forecast is 43.2 bu/a, down from USDA’s July estimate of 44.5 bu/a, but still well above 2012’s drought-hit 39.6 bu/a. The record yield was 44.0 bu/a in 2009.
But there’s another wild card this year. Because planting was so late, USDA says that it will include in the August report the results of a re-survey of actual planted acres in 14 states. That could have a significant impact on USDA’s production estimate, as well as the surveyed yield findings.