Commodity Weather Group on Wednesday forecast a record U.S. soybean yield of 46.1 bushels per acre based on current conditions.
If realized, that would produce 3.88 billion bushels of soybeans using USDA's current harvested area of 84.1 million acres, CWG said.
Farm Futures is forecasting an even larger 46.3 yield, with potential for 47-plus. USDA currently expects a 45.2 yield and a 3.8-billion harvest.
CWG's forecast anticipates record yields in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska and Ohio.
August weather will be important in achieving the 46.1 bu/acre as a wet June resulted in shallow root systems for much of the Midwest and in the Dakotas, it said.
"If rains falter in August in shallow-rooted areas, yield losses of as much as 10% to 20% below trend are possible in most problematic areas based on similar cases such as '08," it said
Based on current long-term forecasts, CWG said the greatest risks to yields from dryness are in South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin, with lesser risks in Iowa, Michigan, and North Dakota.
"Based on this, downside risk could reduce yields to as low as 44 to 45 bu/acre, with upside of 47 to 48, if sufficient rains manage to occur," it said.
A year ago, USDA said the United States harvested 3.29 billion bushels from 75.9 million acres for an average yield of 43.3.
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