Corn and soybean production both in the U.S. and worldwide are expected to increase in 2014, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture has offered its first look into the year ahead.
The projections, released in the USDA's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report, show a bright spot for livestock and poultry producers, who rely on the grain supply for feed. The report was issued on May 10.
While the forecasts may bode well for animal agriculture, economists are still cautious.
"All of this is still in the hands of Mother Nature," said Todd Davis, American Farm Bureau Federation economist. "She will dictate the weather to allow for the amount of corn and soybeans that will be planted and the growing season weather. The May World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates is a good starting point for the projections, but there is a long way to go before the uncertainty of 2013 production and stocks become resolved."
Corn production for the 2103-2014 season is forecast to increase to 965.94 million metric tons, a steady improvement from the 857.12 million metric tons for this season and the 882.96 million metric tons from a year ago.
U.S. production for 2014 is forecast at 359.17 million metric tons, substantially moving up from the 273.83 million metric tons for this year and the 313.95 million metric tons recorded last year.
Total foreign production is forecast for next year at 606.77 million metric tons, compared to the 583.29 million metric tons forecast for this year and 569.01 million metric tons recorded last year. Production in Argentina and South Africa is expected to increase for the upcoming year, but decrease slightly in Brazil. Mexican production is projected to improve each year.
U.S. ending stocks for 2014 are expected to be at 50.91 million metric tons, while the worldwide estimates are at 154.63 million metric tons. That indicates a significant gain from the estimated ending stocks number forecast for 2013 at 19.29 million metric tons in the U.S. and 125.43 million metric tons worldwide. The figures recorded at the end of last season were 132.22 million metric tons worldwide and 25.12 million metric tons in the U.S.
The projections for the 2013-2014 season call for worldwide soybean production of 285.5 million metric tons produced, an significant improvement over the 269.11 million metric tons forecast for this year and the 239.46 million metric tons produced last year.
U.S. production is forecast at 92.26 million metric tons for the upcoming year, making more than a 10 million metric ton increase from this season's projections to 82.06 million metric tons. This season's projections slide back from last year's total of 84.19 million metric tons.
Production from other countries shows a gain each year. Next year's crop has been forecast at 193.24 million metric tons, which is up from 187.05 million metric tons for this year and the 155.27 million metric tons produced last year. Argentina and Brazil made the biggest gains this year in foreign markets, with production in Argentina jumping from 40.10 million metric tons last year to 51 million metric tons this year. Next year's totals from Argentina are forecast at 54.50 million metric tons. Brazilian production is forecast to improve from last year's total of 66.5 million metric tons to 83.5 million metric tons this year and 85 million metric tons next year.
The predicted increase is a result of both higher expected acres planted and improved yields.
Ending stocks will go up next year both in the U.S. and worldwide, with 74.96 million metric tons globally and 7.22 million metric tons in the U.S. The estimates for the end of this year are forecast at 62.46 million metric tons worldwide and 3.39 million metric tons in the U.S., compared to the respective totals of 54.71 million metric tons and 4.61 million metric tons for the end of last year.