November 5, 2003



US 2003 Corn Crop Likely to Produce Record Harvest

It seems the U.S.' 2003 corn crop remains likely to produce a record harvest this year, as the hot, dry growing conditions during August didn't have as much as a negative impact as speculated, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said recently.

Forecast corn production for the year is up 263 million bushels from last month, at 10.2 billion bushels, up 3% from last month and 13% above last year, USDA said in its October crop production report.


"Based on conditions as of October 1, yields are expected to average 142.2 bushels/acre, up 3.7 bushels from September and up 12.2 bushels from last year. If realized, both production and yield would be the largest ever," USDA said.


The agriculture agency said that yields turned out to be higher than expected across the Corn Belt and the central Great Plains, as farmers began to harvest their crops. As of mid-October, harvest was 56% complete, which is 7 percentage points above last year at this time, although 2 points below the five-year average. Specifically, harvest progressed quickly in the western Corn Belt, but progress in the rest of the Great Plains was slow, despite similar conditions, USDA noted.

Additionally, the less than ideal growing conditions in the Midwest during August did not have as much of an effect on yields as originally thought, the agency said.

According to USDA's October World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates report, while projected corn feed and residual use increased by 75 million bushels, food and industrial use, which includes corn used to make ethanol, was reduced by 25 million bushels, because of reduced demand for high-fructose corn syrup.

The projected price range for corn is reduced 20 cents on each end, to $1.90-$2.30/bushel.


The next USDA's corn crop report will be out on November 12.

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