U.S. Corn Yields May Drop More Than Forecast, Biggest Farm Manager Says

Jeff Wilson

U.S. corn yields may fall 5 percent this year, more than analysts forecast, because of adverse weather, according to Farmers National Co., the largest manager of crop land.

Yields may drop to 156.6 bushel an acre, said Jerry Warner, the chief management officer at Farmers National who helps oversee 2.5 million acres. That’s down from a record 164.7 bushels last year, and lower than the Department of Agriculture’s September forecast of 162.5 bushels. The USDA is scheduled to update its outlook tomorrow. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg expect the agency to cut its estimate to 160.2 bushels.

“National corn yields may be down 5 percent based on harvest results we are seeing” from fields across the Midwest, Warner said from Omaha, Nebraska. “It’s a significant drop, because there a lot of yields dropping more than 10 percent,” including in Iowa and Illinois, the two biggest producing states, he said.

Before today, corn futures surged 38 percent since June 1 on signs of a smaller crop. On Sept. 30, the USDA said inventories were 322 million bushels higher than estimated earlier that month. The next day, prices plunged 6.1 percent, the most since January.

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