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How Will December 1 Corn Stocks Estimate Be Interpreted?

How Will December 1 Corn Stocks Estimate Be Interpreted?

09 December 2014

US - It is always a challenge to anticipate the USDA's quarterly estimate of corn stocks, but the estimate of the December 1 inventory, to be released on January 12, 2015, is a special challenge, writes Darrel Good.

Not only is there the usual uncertainty about the magnitude of feed and residual use of corn during the first quarter of the marketing year, there is uncertainty about the potential change in the corn production estimate that is released on the same day.

The production estimate will reflect a final yield estimate based on the December Agricultural Survey and a final harvested acreage estimate based on that same survey in combination with other administrative acreage data, primarily planted acreage reported to the Farm Service Agency (FSA).

As pointed out in the November 17 issue of this newsletter, there has been a consistent relationship between planted acreage reported to FSA and the final estimate of planted acreage reported by the National Agricultural Statistical Service (NASS) in recent years.

That relationship has meant that the NASS final estimate of planted acreage could be reasonably well anticipated based on acreage reported to FSA by October or November.

This year, however, the difference between FSA acreage reported in November and the current NASS planted acreage estimate was about five million acres, compared to the average difference in final estimates of about 2.8 million acres for the period 2007 through 2013.

FSA will release an updated acreage report on December 15. Unless acreage in that report is about two million acres more than reported in November, some reduction in the NASS acreage estimate in the January 12 report will be anticipated.

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