WASDE Slashes US Corn Yield and Global Wheat Supply Estimates

12 August 2021

In its latest WASDE report, the USDA slashed national corn yield estimates by nearly 3% on expectations that steep declines in the Northern Plains and Western Corn Belt will overwhelm record yields in Eastern Corn Belt states. The move signals little relief for US corn supplies, which are at some of their tightest levels in nearly a decade. 

The USDA now expects corn yield of 174.6 bushels/acre, down from 179.5 b/a last month. 

Gro has been warning since early July that drought in Minnesota and the Dakotas would force the USDA to lower its overly optimistic corn outlook. This week’s 2021 Digital Yield Tour, a partnership between Gro and DTN, has highlighted the wide regional variability across the Corn Belt states. 

Gro’s US Corn Yield Forecast Model currently projects a national yield of 176.5 bpa, which still suggests a corn stocks-to-use ratio, a measure of available supply, at one of the lowest levels since 2013. 

The USDA also cut its Brazilian corn production forecast to 87 million tonnes, down 6% from last month’s estimate. The Gro Drought Index, as seen in this display in the Gro Navigator for Agriculture app weighted for Brazilian corn-growing regions, has long signaled the deteriorating conditions for corn. 

Brazil corn exports are expected to be down 35% year over year, shifting demand for corn to the US and Ukraine. Watch a recording of this week’s Gro presentation “US Corn Outlook, Brazil's Upcoming Season, and the Long-Term Impact of Drought” for a more complete analysis of our global corn view.  

Global wheat supply estimates also got cut sharply, with world wheat ending stocks seen down 4.3% to 279.06 million tonnes, the lowest in five years. Production forecasts are down 24% for Canada, 15% for Russia, and 3% for the US. Gains are expected in Ukraine and Australia. 

The sharp cut in world wheat supplies will support continued high wheat prices, which could make corn more competitive for feed and disrupt global supply chains. Gro users should especially keep an eye on purchases by the world’s biggest grain importer, China, such as with this Gro display, as it weighs the competitiveness of different grains.

This insight was powered by the Gro platform, which enables better and faster decisions about factors affecting the entire global agricultural ecosystem. Gro organizes over 40,000 datasets from sources around the world into a unified ontology, which allows users to derive valuable insights such as this one. You can explore the data available on Gro with a free account, or please get in touch if you would like to learn more about a specific crop, region, or business issue.

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