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Soybeans surprised by lower USDA production expectation

An ag economist says soybean futures were caught off guard by USDA’s drop in expected new crop soybean production.

Ben Brown with the University of Missouri’s Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute tells Brownfield the lower soybean production expectation mostly came from the Eastern Cornbelt.

“Down five percent in Indiana which is the fourth largest producer of soybeans in the United States, down three percent in Ohio which is about the eighth,” Brown said. “The rest of the Cornbelt was largely the same; Iowa, I guess, was down two percent and they’re the second largest soybean producer.”

He said USDA lowered its average yield estimate to 51.2 bushels per acre, three tenths a bushel below the October estimate and seven tenths below where trade’s expectation.

Brown said while this was USDA’s last production report for the 2021 crop this year, there could be a sizable revision in January because of two factors…

“The higher yields in the western plains, the northern plains and then the lower yields in the Eastern Cornbelt,” he said. “And I don’t think we’re done with that, harvest in certain places is late.”

Most soybean futures closed more than 10 cents lower Monday, expecting a bearish USDA report, but closed more than 20 cents higher Tuesday, after the report was released.

Ben Brown Interview

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