WASHINGTON — The US Department of Agriculture, in its Sept. 11 Crop Production report, lowered from August its forecasts for 2020 US corn and soybean production after adverse weather in August and drought conditions in some key production areas.

The USDA forecast 2020 corn production at 14,900 million bus, down 2% from a record 15,278 million bus forecast in August but up 9% from 13,617 million bus in 2019. The five-year average corn outturn was 14,263 million bus, and the record corn crop was 15,148 million bus in 2016.

The 2020 corn forecast was based on a harvested area forecast at 83,473,000 acres, down from 84,023,000 acres forecast in August but up from 81,322,000 acres in 2019.

The USDA forecast the average corn yield in 2020 at a record 178.5 bus an acre, down from 181.8 bus forecast in August but up from 167.4 bus in 2019.  

The USDA forecast 2020 soybean production at 4,313 million bus, down 3% from August but up 21% from 3,552 million bus in 2019. The recent five-year average soybean outturn was 4,123 million bus, and the current record-large soybean crop was 4,428 million bus in 2018.

The 2020 production forecast was based on harvested area projected at 83,020,000 acres, unchanged from August but up 11% from 74,951,000 acres in 2019.

The average soybean yield was forecast at a record 51.9 bus an acre in 2020, down from 53.3 bus forecast in August but up from 47.4 bus in 2019.

“The forecasts are based on conditions as of Sept. 1,” the USDA said. Any potential impacts from the below freezing temperatures that occurred after Sept. 1 will be reflected in future reports.”

In August, a massive derecho storm moved through the Midwest on Aug. 10, with the USDA’s August crop production forecasts based on Aug. 1 conditions. The lower harvested area for corn was the result of the storm, the USDA said.

CME Group soybean futures shot up about 10c to 20c a bu spot through August 2021, while corn futures were up about 2c to 7c a bu spot through September 2021.

The USDA corn and soybean production and yield forecasts all were slightly above the average of pre-report trade expectations.