The largest U.S. corn planting in 75 years is being put in jeopardy by a drought stretching from the Central Plains to the eastern Corn Belt, according to reports. The yield forecast has been reduced 4 percent, 1 billion bushels, since May estimates, and 8 percent of the corn land will not be harvested, says the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Farmers planted 96.405 million acres of corn in the spring, 5 percent more than in 2011 and above an average trade estimate of 96.090 million acres, according to the USDA. But only 88.851 acres are expected to be harvested, less than the 89.1 million estimated in a June monthly report. By the time fall arrives, U.S. corn stockpiles will be the lowest in 16 years — it had been hoped that this year's bumper crop would replenish stocks, but if the drought continues, that might not happen, say analysts.
Areas that have seen little rain, have claypan soils or compacted soils may see large yield losses if the drought continues.