DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Aside from increased demand for corn to make food sweeteners and a boost in soybean exports, the U.S. Department of Agriculture made few adjustments to Wednesday's crop update.
Some analysts expect that the USDA may adjust the number of corn acres planted, which currently exceeds the agency's estimates by about 5 million acres.
But there was no such adjustment, and Iowa State University agricultural economist Chad Hart believes the USDA will wait to do in January, if necessary. Michigan and Wisconsin were behind in harvesting when harsh, snowy snowy weather hampered farmers' efforts to get crops out of fields.
"There's still a fair amount of crop still in the fields and it's expected they will probably still come in, maybe late, but they will be there," Hart said.
Changing the number of acres planted — which are reported on federal program applications and compared to USDA farmer surveys — could affect final corn production figures and impact prices, which dipped to about $3.20 a bushel in October on the anticipation of a record corn harvest.
The USDA left this year's expected corn harvest at a record 14.41 billion bushels and the soybean crop at 3.96 billion bushels. Corn for December delivery was trading at $3.68 a bushel on Dec. 2, but was at $3.81 on Wednesday, a 3 ½ percent increase.
The report said demand for corn sweetener is expected to use an additional 10 million bushels of corn than earlier expected.
Also, demand for soybeans from exports was boosted by 40 million bushels. China is the leading importer, with additional increased demand also coming from Europe, Mexico, Japan and Taiwan, Hart said.
Soybean meal is used globally in livestock feed and the oil is extracted for use in cooking and for use in a wide range of industrial products.