The Department of Agriculture expects a larger corn and a record soybean harvest in the most recent round of monthly reports. USDA forged against expectations and raised corn production to an estimated 14.1 billion bushels and soybeans to a record 4.4 billion bushels. USDA is forecasting the average corn yield at 169.0 bushels per acre, and the soybean yield at 49.9 bushels per acre. Production for the 2017-18 corn crop increased 31 million bushels from the August projection, but still six percent lower than the 2016-17 crop. As for cotton, USDA estimated larger production, exports, and ending stocks relative to last month. However, USDA says those projections came before Hurricane Harvey, adding the agency will go back to collect harvested acres for cotton for Texas and Louisiana for the October Crop Production report.
Beef Exports Remain Strong, Pork Lower
U.S. beef exports remained well above last year’s pace in July, posting one of the highest monthly export value totals on record, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation. However, July pork export volume dipped below its year-ago level for the first time in 15 months, with export value also down slightly. January-July volume was still up 11 percent from a year ago.
Disaster SNAP Approved for Texas Disaster Areas
Texans recovering from Hurricane Harvey could be eligible for disaster food benefits from the Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. USDA and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission announced Monday that households who may not normally be eligible under regular SNAP rules may qualify for D-SNAP if they meet the disaster income limits and have qualifying disaster-related expenses. D-SNAP eligible households in the affected areas will receive two months of benefits, equivalent to the maximum amount of benefits normally issued to a SNAP household of their size, to meet their food needs as they settle back home following the disaster.