Farmers on Edge Ahead of Crop Report

Next Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will release its newest estimates on the U.S. corn, wheat, and soybean crops, as well as an outlook for global supply and demand.

After flooding devastated many Midwestern farms this spring and prevented farmers from planting their corn crop, market watchers expected that this year’s harvest could be significantly smaller than originally projected.

The previous USDA outlook showed 91.7 million planted acres of corn, a figure that traders are expecting to drop to 88 million in Monday’s report. Soybean acreage is expected to rise from 80 million to 81 million as farmers who were unable to plant corn switched to soybeans.

In addition to acreage shifts, markets are wary of crop yields this year, as many fields were planted late or in wet conditions, which can reduce corn and soybean production. Firm estimates of crop yields won’t come from the USDA for another month, although they will include a best-guess on Monday.

Ahead of the report, December corn and November beans traded for $4.17 and $8.89 per bushel, respectively. If the USDA’s newest estimates deviate significantly from markets’ expectations, there could be large market moves on Monday.