The USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate reports lowered corn harvest by 1.3 bushels per acre and adjusted prices for both this commodity and soybeans to reflect domestic and export demand for October 2009. The latest values for the U.S. 2009-10 season are shown in this table.
The values should, however, be interpreted in the light of prolonged unseasonable rains during late October and early November that have impeded harvest in many parts of the Midwest and Southeast. Delays in harvest have resulted in yield loses for soybeans.
The rainfall from Hurricane Ida has apparently destroyed 40% of the soybean crop in Mississippi. The quality of the 2009 corn crop is now in question, as high moisture content will result in low bushel weight from Diplodia and possible mycotoxin contamination.
The delays in harvesting have resulted in firming of prices with CBOT corn futures up 15% and soybeans by 8% since October 1. As of November 15, the USDA estimates 54% of corn (77% in 2008) and 89% of soybeans (95% in 2008) has been harvested.
According to industry observers, the actual harvest will not be known until early January 2010. In the interim there will be uncertainty as to volume and quality complicated by activity in the export market resulting in price fluctuations.