The Nov. 9 USDA Crop Production Report dealt traders a soybean surprise when USDA statisticians reduced national soybean crop estimates by 1% to 3.375 billion bushels and lowered the soybean yield from 44.4 bushels/ acre in October to 43.9 bushels/acre in November, says Stu Ellis, the Farm Gate bogger and editor for the University of Illinois.

Lower soybean yields were projected for Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska, while Iowa and Illinois were estimated at 52-bushel yields/acre and Indiana at 50 bushels/acre.

Projections for the season average soybean price rose 70 cents/bushel to a range of $10.70 to $12.20/bushel.

The 33-million-bushel reduction in the forecast for the 2010 soybean crop, plus a 50-million-bushel increase for forecast exports, leaves year-end soybean stocks at a very tight 185 million bushels, says Steve Meyer and Len Steiner in The Daily Livestock Report (DLR).

USDA’s November estimate of the national corn crop at 12.54 billion bushels is 4.3% smaller than last year’s crop. Corn yield estimates are at 154.3 bushels/acre, down 1.5 bushels from last month.

Total corn usage, say the DLR authors, was reduced by 50 million bushels by dropping projected feed/residual usage by 100 million bushels and exports by 50 million bushels, while increasing projected ethanol usage by 100 million bushels.

Those changes lowered the corn carryout to 827 million bushels, the lowest level in 15 years, reports Ellis, and caused USDA to adjust the season average price up by 25 cents to a range of $4.80 to $5.60/bushel.