July 2021 US Production Report

  • As dry and hot conditions persist for key areas of the Corn Belt, yield forecasts for corn and soybeans have declined since last month.
  • Indigo’s current corn production estimate is 560 million bushels lower than the USDA.
  • Indigo’s current soybean production estimate is 90 million bushels lower than the USDA.

July 13, 2021. After lightning fast planting to start the season, surging temperatures and limited rainfall through key areas of the Corn Belt have brought down yield forecasts for corn and soybeans in the U.S. 

A high-level look at production. Indigo’s yield estimates nationally have declined 1.6 bu/ac and 0.1 bu/ac for corn and beans since last month, respectively; overall production estimates, however, are split, with a 40 million bushel increase for corn and a 10 million bushel decrease for beans. The former change is due to corn’s 1.55 million upward revision to planted acreage from the USDA. This is the first U.S. report of 2021 to leverage remote sensing models to forecast crop yield. 

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Northern Plains trying to beat the heat. Drought conditions have dominated in the Dakotas and Minnesota, where 20% of this year’s corn and 23% of this year’s soybeans are estimated to be planted – the highest concentration of these two crops over the three states in the last decade. As of the end of last month, almost 100% of the Dakotas and Minnesota were dealing with abnormally dry conditions, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

mean max temp_06 2021

Looking at the Northern Plains’ average maximum temperatures for June over the past 10 years,
2021 stands out as the hottest peak temperatures for key growing areas in the Dakotas and Minnesota.

northern plains max temp

Clayton Rehm, a grain marketing specialist for Indigo who originates and farms out of Minnesota, was seeing a crop good enough to stand the heat towards the end of June, but confided, “Rain’s needed in a bad way.” His 40 acre hay field produced 126 big squares last year from its first cut; this year, only 36 were pulled. “High ground burn can be seen across the state,” he said. “Wheat, alfalfa, and pasture ground dryland are smoked for now.”

“The area where more rainfall is needed continues to be the northwestern Corn Belt, where South Dakota is rated 82% short on moisture, Minnesota is 76% short, North Dakota is 75% short, and Iowa is 40% short,” says Michael Cordonnier, an agricultural consultant providing up-to-date information about soybean and corn production in both North and South America. “The rainfall this past weekend was disappointing in the northwestern Corn Belt and the area can ill afford to miss any chance of rain especially as the temperatures warm up.”

Looking out the next six to fourteen days, the weather forecast is not expected to change much, according to Indigo’s in-house meteorologist Dr. Julia Lange. “The conditions will stay dry and warmer than normal in the north, with severe to exceptional drought conditions in North Dakota. Parts of Missouri, Iowa, and Illinois will see a lot of precipitation and flash flood warnings. Further out into August, there is a 70% chance of slightly higher than normal temperatures in the northern corn regions and in Indiana and Ohio, as well as more normal conditions in Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and Illinois.”

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Interested in learning more? Stay tuned for next month’s market report, where these estimates will be updated, and the upcoming weather conditions will be analyzed.


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