Monday, March 8, 2010

Will USDA move the corn needle?

Following the January Annual Production Summary, USDAannounced it would resurvey some states that had a significant amount of corn still in the field for a special 2009 corn crop update on March 10.

Almost immediately, traders and crop watchers assumed this pointed down USDA’s national average corn yield estimate of 165bu/acre.

But US ProFarmer is not so sure. It is skeptical — about what yield-moving data USDA can collect from “the few” acres that were unharvested at the time the January survey was done.

Some late-season yield bumps may even push the national average yield up slightly in the March 10 update. US ProFarmer is not anticipating a major shift in the yield estimate on the basis of a resurveying of acres unharvested as at January.

If, however, USDA’s statisticians take a closer look at issues like test weight and moisture levels (which isn’t supposed to happen) on the 92% of the crop that was harvested at the time of the Annual Production Summary survey, that could'move the needle.'

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