WASHINGTON — Surveys found lower “I” state pod and ear counts compared to last year and the U.S. Department of Agriculture reduced the nation’s corn and soybean production forecasts in the Oct. 10 crop production report.

The USDA opened the report with a caveat that “all forecasts are based on conditions as of Oct. 1 and assume normal weather for the remainder of the growing season. Data were not adjusted to account for any potential departures from the normal between now and harvest.”

The report added that planted and harvested acreage estimates were reviewed for the crops and updated as needed based on available data, including the latest certified acreage data from the Farm Service Agency.

Illinois

The Prairie State’s corn planted area is estimated at 10.5 million acres, down 5% from 2018. Harvested area, forecast at 10.25 million acres, is 6% less than last year.

The Illinois corn yield is forecast by USDA to average 179 bushels per acre, down a bushel from last month and 31 bushels less than 2018. Production is projected at 1.83 billion bushels, down 19% from last year.

The state’s soybean yield is forecast to average 51 bushels per acre, 2 less than last month and 12.5 bushels below 2018. Planted area of 10 million acres is 7% less than last year, and harvested area of 9.94 million acres is down 5% from a year ago.

Illinois soybean production is forecast at 507 million bushels compared to 666.75 billion in 2018.

Indiana

Corn yields in the Hoosier State are projected to average 162 bushels per acre, a bushel increase from September and 27 bushels lower than last year’s yield. Total production is expected to be 794 million bushels, down 19% from 2018.

An estimated 5.1 million corn acres were planted in Indiana compared to 5.35 million last year. Harvested acres of 4.9 million acres is 300,000 less than 2018.

If realized, this would be the lowest Indiana corn production since 2012.

Indiana soybean production is expected to total 258 million bushels, down 25% from a year earlier. The yield is forecast at 48 bushels per acre, a bushel below last month and down 9.5 bushels from 2018. If realized, this will be the lowest yield since 2012.

Planted acres are estimated at 5.4 million acres. The anticipated harvested area of 5.37 million acres is 590,000 less than in 2018.

Iowa

Corn production is forecast at 2.515 billion bushels compared to nearly 2.509 billion in 2018 in Iowa.

The state’s average corn yield is expected to be 192 bushels per acre, up one bushel from last month’s forecast, but down four bushels per acre from last year.

Corn planted acreage is estimated at 13.5 million acres. An estimated 13.1 million of the acres planted will be harvested for grain, compared to 12.8 million in 2018.

Iowa’s soybean production is forecast at 484 million bushels after hitting nearly 550.5 last year. The yield is forecast at 53 bushels per acre, down one bushel per acre from the September forecast, and three bushels per acre lower than 2018.

Soybean planted acreage is estimated at 9.2 million acres with 9.13 million acres to be harvested. Iowa harvested 9.83 million acres last year.

U.S.

U.S. corn production for grain is forecast at 13.8 billion bushels, down less than 1% from the previous forecast and 4% below last year.

Based on conditions as of Oct. 1, corn yields are expected to average 168.4 bushels per harvested acre, up 0.2 bushel from the previous forecast but down eight bushels from 2018.

Area harvested for grain is forecast at 81.8 million acres, down less than 1% from the previous forecast but up slightly from 2018.

The nation’s soybean production is forecast at 3.55 billion bushels, down 2% from the previous forecast and 20% less than last year.

U.S. soybean yields are expected to average 46.9 bushels per acre, down one bushel from the previous forecast and down 3.7 bushels from 2018.

Area harvested for soybeans is forecast at 75.6 million acres, down less than 1% from the previous forecast and 14% below 2018.

Crop Comments

The Oct. 1 corn objective yield data indicate the lowest number of ears since 2012 for the combined 10 objective yield states, (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin).

Record high yields are forecast for Kentucky (178 bushels per acre) and Tennessee (175).

The October objective yield data for the combined 11 major soybean-producing states (Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, and South Dakota) indicate a lower pod count compared to the previous year. Compared with final counts for 2018, pod counts are down in 10 of the 11 published states. A decrease of more than 400 pods per 18 square feet from 2018’s final pod count is expected in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, and South Dakota.

A record yield of 50 bushels per acre is forecast in Pennsylvania.

Objective yield and farm operator surveys were conducted between Sept. 24 and Oct. 4 to gather information on expected yield as of Oct. 1. The objective yield surveys for corn, cotton, and soybeans were conducted in the major producing states that usually account for about 75% of U.S. production.

Randomly selected plots were revisited to make current counts. The counts made within each sample plot depend on the crop and the maturity of that crop. In all cases, plant counts are recorded along with other measurements that provide information to forecast the number of ears, bolls, or pods and their weight.

Tom C. Doran can be reached at 815-780-7894 or tdoran@agrinews-pubs.com. Follow him on Twitter at: @AgNews_Doran.

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