Production, Spending Figures Reported

Two major USDA reports have been released in the past week by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS): today’s Crop Production report and last Thursday’s Farm Production Expenditures document. Will you be surprised?

  • Corn, Soybean Crops Robust Despite Floods

Despite June’s severe flooding in the Midwest, U.S. growers are on pace to produce the second largest corn crop and fourth largest soybean crop in history, according to the Crop Production report released today by USDA’s NASS.

Corn production is forecast at 12.3 billion bushels, down 6 percent from last year’s record, but up 17 percent from 2006. Based on conditions as of Aug. 1, corn yields are expected to average 155 bushels per acre, up 3.9 bushels from last year. If realized, this would be the second highest corn yield on record, behind 2004. Growers are expected to harvest 79.3 million acres of corn for grain, down 8 percent from last year.

Soybean production is forecast at 2.97 billion bushels, up 15 percent from last year but down 7 percent from the 2006 record. Yields are expected to average 40.5 bushels per acre, down 0.7 bushels from 2007, while harvested area is expected to be 17 percent higher than in 2007.

The same is cannot be said for cotton. All cotton production is forecast at 13.8 million bales, down 28 percent from last year. Yield is expected to average 842 pounds per acre, down 37 pounds from last year’s record. Producers expect to harvest 7.85 million acres of all cotton, the lowest harvested area since 1983, and 25 percent less than last year.

The August Crop Production report contains NASS’s first estimates of yield and production for corn, soybeans and other spring-planted row crops. To help ensure that these estimates were based on the best information available, NASS supplemented its standard data collection activities in order to account for the impact of the June flooding in the Midwest. NASS personnel re-interviewed approximately 9,000 farmers in flood-affected areas who had previously reported their planted acreage to the agency in early June. Additionally, NASS increased the number of corn and soybean fields selected for objective field measurements in the flood-affected areas and also increased the sample size for the Agricultural Yield Survey, through which farmers report expected crop yields.

The Crop Production report is published monthly and is available online at www.nass.usda.gov.

  • Growers’ Cost of Business Way Up

USDA’s newest expenditure report confirms what you and your grower-customers already know.

The rising cost of fuel and other products helped drive U.S. farm production expenditures to a record $260 billion in 2007, according to the Farm Production Expenditures 2007 summary released Aug. 7 by USDA’s NASS. Total U.S. farm production expenditures rose 9.3 percent from 2006 and nearly 30 percent from five years ago.

Increasing petroleum costs meant growers not only paid more for fuel, but also for fertilizer products, chemicals, and transportation services. Indirectly, fuel prices and the growth in ethanol production also led to higher crop prices, resulting in increased cost for livestock feed.

The NASS report shows that the average production expenditures per farm increased 10 percent nationwide, from $114,186 in 2006 to $125,648 in 2007. On average, U.S. farm expenditures for fertilizer, lime, and soil jumped 26 percent to $8,070; feed costs rose 22 percent to $18,412; fuel costs increased by 15 percent to $6,137; and agricultural chemicals climbed 12 percent to $4,832.

In total, U.S. producers spent $12.7 billion on fuel, including $7.71 billion for diesel, up 15 percent; $2.74 billion for gasoline, up 16 percent; $1.5 billion for LP gas, up 17 percent; and $750 million for other fuels, up 4.2 percent.

The Farm Production Expenditures summary provides the official estimates for production input costs on U.S. agricultural operations. These estimates are based on the results of the nationwide Agricultural Resource Management Survey conducted annually by NASS. The Farm Production Expenditures summary and all NASS reports are available online at www.nass.usda.gov.

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