Tropical Storm Debby brought much needed rain to Wakulla County and the Big Bend region. Many, but not all, pastures, paddocks and hayfields have absorbed the moisture.
Scattered showers since TS Debby’s deluge have kept forage production going since the 20 plus inches of rain received on some farms. But fair weather here has not allayed cattlemen’s concerns about other sections of the county.
Drought and heat in parts of the country led the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to lower its corn production forecast to 12.970 billion bushels from its previous outlook for 14.790 billion, well below the record crop of 13.1 billion bushels produced in 2009.
The USDA has dropped its estimate for U.S. corn good-to-excellent condition rating to 40 percent from the previously reported 48 percent. The hay crop in drought affected areas is threatened, too.
The agency evaluated U.S. soybean conditions at 40 percent good-to-excellent, down from 45 percent a week earlier, and in its July crop report estimated 2012 U.S. soybean production at 3.050 billion bushels, down from the previous forecast for 3.205 billion.
This portends additional herd reductions and rising feed cost for feedlots finishing cattle. Strong demand for hay supplies during the winter of 2012/13 is likely unless conditions improve. The USDA will update its U.S. corn and soybean production forecasts on August 10.