Continued dry weather in the Midwest will leave the U.S. soybean yield at 39 bushels per acre, 3.6 bushels per acre below the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast and the indication of a fourth successive year of declining yields that began in 2009, according to Chicago-based broker Allendale. The broker has pegged the total harvest at 2.98 billion bushels - 275 million bushels below the USDA estimate, and a drop of some 240 million bushels year on year.
For corn, Allendale predicts a yield figure of 153.4 bushels per acre, 1 bushel per acre below the official USDA figure and above the 123.4 bushels per acre achieved in 2012, when corn suffered from the worst drought in decades, with soybean crops revived by rains in late August and September. "While we did see some problems with the western Corn Belt, our survey found higher-than-USDA estimates for the eastern Corn Belt," said Allendale chief strategist Rich Nelson. A production figure of 13.676 billion bushels, while 87 million bushels below the USDA forecast, would still be a record result. "But for soybeans, there are some problems, which the market has yet to recognize," said Nelson.
Consultancy Lanworth cut its forecast for the U.S. corn and soybean yields for a third successive week, citing low rainfall in August and early in September. "Outlooks indicate continued warm temperatures this week but with extremely low precipitation across much of the production area," said Lanworth, lowering its estimate for the corn yield by 0.8 bushels per acre to 151.6 bushels per acre, and for soybeans by 0.4 bushels per acre to 40.4 bushels per acre. For soybeans, "low precipitation is correlated with below trend soybean pod weights and implies that gains in the USDA's soybean yield estimate are highly unlikely."
In Iowa, the top corn- and soybean-producing state, Lanworth said that "the shift from historically wet conditions during planting and establishment (April-June) to historically dry conditions during yield formation (July-September) is without precedent."
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extension outreach appointment, Dr. Tom Overton, professor of dairy management
within Cornell University’s College of Agriculture, spends much of his time
working with NY dairies, their nutritionists and vets on issues related to
transition cow management. In his opinion, one of the areas of opportunity for
dairy farms can be found in the management of the pre-calving diet. With
his team, Overton is currently involved in a commercial research study involving
55 farms focused on the influence of particle size on dry cow diets. “We’re
finding that diets are quite sortable with large differences in particle size
distribution,” Overton explains. “[The industry] needs to do a better job in
terms of particle size to make [the rations] less sortable.” In a
total mixed ration, sorting is problematic because cows tend to favor the grain
component and therefor may not consume the necessary fiber and nutrients. In
this video, Overton discusses his team’s research involving pre-calving dairy
diets at the World Dairy Expo. The 2014 edition of
the World Dairy Expo, which was held in early October in Madison,
WI, drew more than
300,000 visitors from roughly 90 countries. The event featured 2,500 head of
dairy cattle and more than 250 exhibitors.
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