The USDA is scheduled to release it’s October crop production forecast Thursday. History shows this crop forecast is generally very close to what actual production turns out to be. October’s numbers are based partly on farmer’s surveys and a lot on lab tests of crop samples from thousands of corn and soybean fields across the country.
USDA outlook board chairman Seth Meyer said you can call it a “moment of truth” because in his experience the October numbers are likely to be very close to what is actually harvested especially for corn.
“The crop is reaching maturity, harvest is underway, the farmers have a better idea of what’s there and you’ve got lab observations and so that’s why we tend, by October, to have a yield for corn that doesn’t change much at that point. That’s not to say it can’t change after October, but October is usually the month where it really locks down and from that point forward changes tend to be very modest.”
And indeed, for corn, in the September forecast over the last 20 years has missed the actual harvest number by an average of 271 million bushels, the October forecast missing the mark an average of only 148.
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