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No USDA Crop Report Until November

by Mike Austin

Even though the USDA is back open there will not be an October crop report. 

That is Gerry Bange from the USDA Outlook board and he said that even though it has been a while since the a USDA'S last crop report, they rather increase that waiting period than give the market some numbers whose accuracy they can not guarantee. Joe Prusacki who heads up the statistics division for NASS says they may use some of the data from the October figures they have in helping to calculate the November numbers, but agrees as a stand alone report, the October numbers may not be that beneficial to the trade. He said about half the normal number of growers were contacted prior to the shutdown and as far as yield sampling, a lot of the data collected at the end of September ended just sitting in the lab since October 1st. Prusacki says it is the goal of his agency to see what samples can be still be used but obviously more samples and farmer contacts need to be taken to make sure the November numbers are accurate. Some in the trade don't like the idea of having such a long period between reports although several private crop estimates are now available as an alternative to the USDA numbers and are being used in the interim. One piece of news the USDA is sharing on the crop is the expectation that the growing season in the corn and soybean belt will more than likely be over this weekend, as a killing frost is expected to blanket the region. However Brad Rippey, the USDA meteorologists does feel that even though the crop was planted on average two to three weeks later than normal, this delayed frost has also given the growers an extra two to three weeks for their crops to mature.

Since we don't have any official numbers I talked to some growers in Brown, Calumet and Dodge Counties in Northeastern Wisconsin to get their first hand account of what is the progress of the crops and the harvest on their farms 

Early returns from other crop consultants and analyst in the corn and soybean belt indicate that corn yields will top 155 bushels per acre, while beans should be around that 43 bushel per acre mark. However, there still is plenty of work to do in completing the 2013 harvest and as always the whims of mother nature will determine just how quickly we actually get the crop in the bin.