Monday, October 19, 2009

Week 29

Corn: My estimates for corn production and yield are holding steady. As soon as harvest reaches 50% USDA will stop reporting conditions. My adjustment to the corrected model also becomes a bit more suspect this late in the year because the date of the last reported conditions vary. No big deal but worth reporting. My post last week outlined where I'm different. Much of the difference is in 3 cornbelt states (primarily Illinois) where my planting date variable is limiting terminal yields. I've heard increasing stories about low test weights, so maybe I'll end up closer to the final USDA number than I am now. See the earlier post for a discussion of this issue. While conditions may not fully pick up on this late season weather effect on test weights, it may be that the planting date does. So perhaps I shouldn't be so quick to throw it away.

Soybeans: I've consistently been a bit higher than USDA all season, but by less than 1/2 a bushel per acre. What is worth noting that the estimated yield slid again this week and has been on a downward trajectory since mid-September.

Cotton: I'm actually pleasantly surprised how the model has tracked along with USDA estimates on cotton yields. The reports of worsening crops and harvest difficulties appear to be showing up in conditions and if the model is truly tracking well, we might see a sizable downward revision in yield numbers come November. Now my crop production number has consistently been above the USDA number. I'd say 1/2 of this is due to abandonment differences in Texas. The model just does not seem to do well in predicting harvested acres in Texas. The other big difference is in Arkansas where current conditions are well outside of the range seen since 1986. So when determining parameters for the lowest category, the model isn't distinguishing yields much. This will change when I re-estimate after the first of the year. So I'm well above USDA.

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