Aug 30, 2023

2023 U.S. Soybean Estimate Lowered 1.0 bu. to 50.0 bu/ac

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

The 2023 U.S. soybean yield was lowered 1.0 bu/ac to 50.0 bu/ac and I have a neutral to lower bias going forward.

The adverse conditions last week trimmed the soybean yields especially in Nebraska, Iowa, and Minnesota. I don't think there will be a significant change in the 2023 U.S. soybean acreage, so the harvested acreage was left unchanged at 82.6 million acres resulting in a production of 4.13 billion bushels.

Last week was not a good week for the soybean crop, especially in the hotter and dryer areas of the western Corn Belt. Record high temperatures late in the season can accelerate crop maturity resulting in premature leaf drop, aborted pods at the top of the plant, and smaller and lighter seeds. In the hardest hit areas, some soybeans may shut down prematurely. If dry weather persists until early harvest, there may be increased harvest loss due to shatter loss.

The forecast is problematic. Dry weather is expected across the central U.S. this week and into the 6-10 day period. After a brief cool down, hotter weather is expected across the Corn Belt in the 6-15 day period. If this forecast verifies, it could essentially end the growing season in many areas of the western Corn Belt.

The record high temperatures are gone for now, but the heat was not broken by widespread rains and that is a problem for the soybeans. Hotter temperatures are forecasted to return by later this week and the soybeans are going to need additional moisture to avoid further declines. Right now, it does not look like it will be a good end to the growing season.

The condition of the 2023 U.S. soybean crop declined 1% last week to 58% rated good/excellent. The soybeans are 91% setting pods compared to 90% last year and 90% average. The soybeans are 5% dropping leaves compared to 4% last year and 6% average.

Pro Farmer Crop Tour pegged the nationwide soybean yield at 49.7 bu/ac compared to the USDA's August estimate of 50.9 bu/ac. Pro Farmer estimated the Nebraska soybean yield at 52 bu/ac (6 bushels below the USDA), Minnesota at 46 bu/ac (3 bushels below the USDA), and Iowa at 55 bu/ac (3 bushels below the USDA). The other states were within 1 bushel of the USDA's August estimate.