USDA released their latest crop progress report yesterday at noon, Joe Prusacki, Director of Statistics Divisions for National Ag Statistics Service in Washington, explains where this particular data comes from:

“We had one big survey, our Ag Yield Survey, which is a farmer opinion survey. We ask farmers what their expectations are for yields on their crops. We had a sample of a little over 24,000 for that. We also have our Objective Yield Program, where we put samples out into the field of winter wheat, corn, soybeans and cotton. We have people go out and count plants, pods, bolls etc.”

While it may not have been much of a surprise, Prusacki says the data show the largest corn crop on record in America’s fields this year:

“If things go as expected, this would be the largest corn crop on record and the soybean crop would be the third largest.”

And the projected record high corn yields aren’t isolated to the Midwestern states either says Prusacki:

“Overall we have pretty good crops. As always, there are some areas that have some difficulties. One interesting thing on corn, is starting over in Mississippi and working east, and up the Atlantic Coast into Delaware and New York, in virtually every state we are expecting record high corn yields.”

While corn and soybeans appear to be pacing normally, surveys of cotton are showing the crop way behind normal says Prusacki:

“With cotton this year, the development of the plant is well behind “normal”. We weren’t seeing the bolls at this time of the year last year, and we didn’t see the squares either. We will have to see how things play out the rest of the season.”

But, in spite of USDA’s prediction of the largest corn crop ever, the numbers are lower than in previous reports, and corn futures reacted accordingly on Monday…near month September gained 6 ¼ to close at $4.72. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.