Mar 01, 2022

Reaction to USDA's 2022 Crop Outlook Estimates

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

2022 U.S. Corn Estimates - The USDA Outlook Meeting last week estimated the 2022 U.S. corn planted acreage at 92.0 million acres (2021 was 93.4 million) and 84.2 million acres harvested (harvested is 91.5% of planted). They estimated the 2022 U.S. corn yield at 181 bu/ac compared to 177 bu/ac last year.

The corn planted acreage is OK because I had estimated the corn acreage in the range of 92-93 million acres. Their corn yield estimate is a little overly optimistic. They indicated that 181 is their trend line yield, but there are several factors that may keep the corn yield in 2022 from being trend line.

First, fertilizer prices are very high and availability may be uncertain given world events. It is possible that some farmers may trim their nitrogen applications, which could also trim yields. Second, soil moisture is currently below normal in Kansas, Nebraska, the Dakotas, and parts of Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Missouri. Those dryness concerns could be resolved by spring rains, so we need to wait and see how the weather unfolds.

Given those two factors, I would be more comfortable starting off the 2022 U.S. growing season with a corn yield of 178 or 179 bu/ac.

2022 U.S. Soybean Estimates - The U.S. Outlook Meeting estimated the 2022 U.S. soybean planted acreage at 88.0 million (2021 was 87.2 million) and the harvested acreage at 87,2 million (harvested acreage is 99% of planted). They estimated the 2022 U.S. soybean yield at 51.5 bu/ac compared to 51.4 bu/ac last year.

The soybean acreage is OK because I had estimated the soybean acreage in the range of 87-88 million acres. The soybean yield is OK at 51.5 bu/ac, but it is only up 0.1 bu/ac compared to last year, which seems a little conservative. There are also potential dryness concerns for the soybeans, so a yield of 51.5 bu/ac is fine to start off the growing season.