U.S. farmers are expected to harvest a record soybean crop this fall, and official forecasts for the bounty likely will grow in a government report due out Wednesday.
Analysts widely anticipate the U.S. Department of Agriculture will raise its projection for domestic soybean output in an upcoming crop report, thanks to favorable weather during the growing season, according to a survey by The Wall Street Journal.
The report comes as the autumn harvest is in full swing across the U.S. Farm Belt, affording federal forecasters a better peak at the haul growers are collecting.
According to an average of analyst estimates, the USDA will likely peg soybean output this year at a record 4.277 billion bushels, an increase from its September projection for 4.201 billion. Yields will likely total 51.4 bushels an acre, up from 50.6 bushels last month, the polled analysts indicated.
“Yields have been over the top on beans,” said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities, a brokerage in West Des Moines, Iowa. Mr. Roose said stellar soybean yields this year are the result of timely spring planting, benevolent weather in August, which is the most important month for determining soybean yields, and the absence of an early freeze.
Meanwhile, the USDA is expected to trim its forecast for U.S. corn production, estimating output of the grain at 15.04 billion bushels on yields of 173.4 bushels an acre, according to analysts. That is down from the government’s previous forecasts for 15.093 billion bushels and yields of 174.4 bushels an acre.
Mr. Roose said a wet start to the planting season, excess moisture in parts of the Corn Belt and hot evening temperatures in July likely curbed corn yields somewhat.
The government’s revised estimates are scheduled for release at noon ET on Wednesday, as combines continue to roll in Midwest farm fields. Analysts say the U.S. soybean harvest is nearly half done by now and more than one-third of the U.S. corn harvest is complete. Forecasts for largely clear skies also are paving the way for farmers to continue fieldwork over the next few weeks.
Growing soybean crops likely will increase the size of U.S. stockpiles next year, according to surveyed analysts. They predict domestic soybean inventories at the end of the 2016-17 crop year on Aug. 31, 2017, will total 415 million bushels, up from 365 million estimated in September.
U.S. corn reserves next year likely will total 2.362 billion bushels, down slightly from 2.384 billion estimated in September, according to the survey.
Analysts expect U.S. wheat stockpiles as of May 31, 2017, the end of the season for that commodity, to reach 1.151 billion bushels, an increase from the 1.1 billion forecast in September.
“This is a stock building year,” said Mr. Roose.