September 12, 2003
USDA Lowers US Soybean Production Forecast to 2.6 Billion Bushels
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Thursday in its monthly supply and demand report that it is lowering its forecast for U.S. soybean production to 2.643 billion bushels, predicting this would be "the smallest crop since 1996-97."
The decrease, an even steeper drop than market analysts and traders expected the USDA to make, is down 219 million bushels from the department's August forecast of 2.862 billion bushels.
A survey this week of market analysts, citing hot, dry conditions in the western belt, showed the average expectation of about 2.76 billion bushels.
USDA, in its accompanying crop production report, also released Thursday, said as of Sept. 1 conditions "yields are expected to average 36.4 bushels per acre, down 3 bushels" per acre from last month's forecast. "High temperatures and moisture shortages stressed the soybean crop during the critical stages of development in the Great Plains and western corn belt during August. Forecast yields are down in northern Great Plains and upper and middle Mississippi Valley due to extremely dry weather."