USDA NASS reports Midwest flooding impacts corn yield

By Susanne Retka Schill | June 02, 2008
Web exclusive posted June 30, 2008 at 1:21 p.m. CST

Midwestern flooding in late May and early June sent the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service back to the field to reinterview approximately 1,200 farmers June 23-25 in flood-affected areas. "As a result, it was determined that U.S. farmers intend to harvest 90.4 percent of their planted acres of corn for grain," the June 30 acreage report said. "This is a change from 92.4 percent as measured during the first two weeks of June. U.S. farmers intend to harvest 96.8 percent of their planted acres of soybeans. Without this additional survey data, historical averages would have indicated 98.7 percent of soybean acres to be harvested."

The industry was waiting for the acreage report to learn just how the final acres would be affected by poor planting weather. After the rains, NASS reinterviewed the 1,200 farmers and it plans to conduct a more extensive acreage survey during July that will be incorporated in the August crop production report. Planting got off to a slow start across the Corn Belt, Ohio Valley, and the northern half of the Great Plains as frequent precipitation and cool temperatures during March and April prevented spring planting preparations. NASS reports that on May 4, corn planting was 27 percent complete, down 32 points from normal. Rapid progress was made during May, despite intermittent showers and below normal temperatures, so that by the time of the survey interview, 97 percent of the intended corn acreage had been planted, compared with an average of 98 percent for the past 10 years.

Corn planted acreage is estimated at 87.3 million acres, down 7 percent from last year. Despite the decrease, the corn planted acreage is the second highest since 1946, behind last year's total of 93.6 million acres. Growers expect to harvest 78.9 million acres for grain, down 9 percent from 2007. If realized, this would be the second highest since 1944, behind last year. Farmers increased corn plantings 1.31 million acres from their March intentions.

Soybean planted acreage for 2008 is estimated at 74.5 million acres, up 17 percent from last year, but 1 percent below the record high acreage in 2006. Area for harvest is estimated to be 72.1 million acres - up 15 percent from 2007. While corn planting had caught up at the time of the survey, soybean planting was still delayed due to the poor spring weather. Farmers reported that 79 percent of the intended soybean acreage had been planted, the lowest since 1996.

For the complete acreages report, which includes tables for all the crops and shows plantings in all states, visit

In a separate grain stocks report issued June 30, NASS reported corn stocks in all positions were up 14 percent from the same time a year ago. Of the total stocks, 1.97 billion bushels are stored on farms, up 8 percent from the previous year. Off-farm stocks, at 2.06 billion bushels, are up 21 percent from a year ago. The March to May 2008 disappearance is 2.83 billion bushels, compared with 2.53 billion bushels during the same period last year.

Soybeans stored in all positions on June 1, 2008, were down 38 percent from the previous year, totaling 676 million bushels. Indicated disappearance for the March to May 2008 quarter totaled 758 million bushels, up 9 percent from the same period a year earlier.