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Understanding USDA Corn And Soybean Production Estimates

About This Publication

Recent comments from producers and others suggest that there is an ongoing misunderstanding of US Department of Agriculture (USDA) motives, methods and procedures used to arrive at production forecasts for corn and soybean crops. This was vividly illustrated by comments from producers, commodity analysts and farm market advisory services following the release of the August 2003 forecasts. Some in the agricultural community apparently even believe that the USDA manipulates crop forecasts to fulfill some mystical objectives that are contrary to the best interest of farmers. The purpose of this article is to improve understanding of USDA crop forecasting methods, performance and market impact.

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