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USDA projects increased cash crop yields

USDA projects increased cash crop yields

Soybean yields could reach 55 bushels per acre by 2028-29

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Cash crop farmers will steadily increase production over the next decade, a new USDA report forecasts.

Between the 2018-19 and 2028-29 crop years, the ag department projects farmers will produce more corn annually.

The figures are an early release from the USDA’s Agricultural Projections to 2028 report. The USDA will release the full report in February.

This year, corn producers will harvest 81.8 million acres at an average yield of 180.7 bushels per acre, the USDA forecasts.

The number of harvested acres and yield will increase each crop year until 2028-29. That year, farmers could harvest 84.1 million acres of corn at an average yield of 194.5 bu/ac, the report estimates.

In terms of marketing, farm prices will mostly remain between US$3.50 and US$3.80/bu, but some years could provide farmers with opportunities to break the US$4.00/bu barrier.

Farmers could earn US$3.95 per bushel in 2020-21 and US$4.00 per bushel the following year. In 2022-23, growers could earn up to US$4.10/bu of corn.

Corn producers tend to agree with the USDA’s forecast.

“When you factor in all the technology we have, it’s no surprise these numbers are going up,” Aron Carlson, president of the Illinois Corn Growers Association, told “We have better genetics, tools to help with planting and data that shows us how to increase yields, so I think the USDA is right with its harvest numbers.

“In terms of price, I’d like to see US$4.50 per bushel, but we can’t control that.”

The USDA also projects soybean yields to increase in the next decade.

The average soybean yield for this year will 53.1 bu/ac the USDA projects. By 2028-29, the average yield could increase to 55 bu/ac.

The harvested acreage could fluctuate over the next decade.

U.S. soybean producers will combine about 88.3 million acres this year. That number will drop next year to 81.6 million acres, before steadily rising to 84.7 million acres in 2028-29, the department forecasts.

Farm prices for soybeans will remain under US$10/bu for the next 10 years, the USDA projects.

The highest farm price for soybeans will occur in 2022-23. Growers could earn US$9.95/bu that year, the report estimates.

Finally, U.S. wheat production is projected to rise during the next 10 years.

This year, wheat farmers should harvest 39.6 million acres at an average yield of 47.6 bu/ac.

In 2028-29, growers will harvest 40.6 million acres of wheat at an average yield of 51.4 bu/ac, the USDA estimates.

The farm price for wheat will stay above US$5.00/bu, the USDA says.

The highest wheat price farmers could receive is US$5.40 per bushel. The opportunities will occur in 2022-23 and 2023-24, the report forecasts.


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