Earlier this month, USDA projected 2019/20 U.S. corn production at 13.9 billion bushels and a national average yield of 169.5 bushels per acre.
Last Friday, on Aug. 23, the Pro Farmer corn tour estimated 2019/20 U.S. corn production to be just under 13.4 billion bushels, about 500 million bushels below the USDA estimate. This reflects Pro Farmer’s national average yield estimate of 163.3 bushels per acre, 6.2 bushels below the USDA estimate.
By state, Pro Farmer’s yield estimates are lower than USDA’s across the board, including down 8.2 bushels for Iowa, 9.8 bushels for Illinois, 4.5 bushels for Indiana, and 5.7 bushels for Ohio. Pro Farmer’s yield estimate for Nebraska was 13.5 bushels lower than the USDA estimate, the greatest change among all states.
If the Pro Farmer estimates are accurate, and all other USDA estimates remain unchanged during the crop year, ending stocks could decline to 1.673 billion bushels, a six-year low.
An early frost could reduce yield in northern regions of the Corn Belt. Due to widespread late-planting this year, an early frost could prevent kernels from fully developing, and instead result in lower-mass ears of corn.
USDA corn production & ending stocks, by season