(Posted Mon. Feb 11th, 2013)

Feb. 11: Our nation’s farmers will harvest a record 14.4 billion bushels of corn this year, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture report released earlier today. The realization of this projection, which assumes the planting of 96 million acres and a national average yield of 163.5 bushels per acre, would require a return to more favorable weather patterns.

“The projections released by USDA this morning inspire cautious optimism for the upcoming year,” said National Corn Growers Association President Pam Johnson, a farmer from Floyd, Iowa. “While the promise of a record crop certainly inspires farmers recovering from a difficult year, we have seen what would have been bumper crops wither in our fields. With a renewed spirit, U.S. corn farmers will enter the planting season with optimism tempered with a steady determination to do our best to provide an abundant, quality crop.”

In 2012, drought severely impacted the U.S. corn crop, which totaled 10.78 billion bushels. Should the USDA forecast prove accurate, the 2013 crop would far surpass the current record, set in 2009, of 13.09 billion bushels.

The forecast shows that the number of harvested acres will rise in the upcoming crop year to 88.3 million despite a lower number of overall planted acres.

Additionally, despite higher forecast demand from every sector, the report indicates that end stocks will rise dramatically to more than two billion bushels. The higher supply, again despite increased demand, would also impact the average farm price per bushel, pushing the average for the 2013-2014 crop year down to $5.40. This would be a significant decrease from the average price the prior year of $7.25 per bushels.

For the full report, “USDA Agricultural Long-Term Projections to 2022”, click here. This report was formerly known as the USDA Baseline.

The USDA will release the “Prospective Plantings” report, which is a survey of farmers’ planting intentions, on March 29.