We have the USDA projected 2011 corn production numbers as of Aug. 1, so we have a baseline.

Now we need to figure new information such as growing weather since early August and factor in what couldn't yet be accounted for when the survey was taken.

 Since the USDA survey was taken, we have had adequate moisture in some areas, not in others, the hot weather continued in some areas and not in others.

The true damage to pollination was not clear in many areas in the August report, but appears to be significant.

Have these cool nights in Michigan and some other areas put the late planted corn in jeopardy? And all these factors will affect the soybean and spring wheat crops as well.

Yes, I have just asked more questions, than answers. But new information is coming out to help give you a pretty good idea if the USDA production number should be adjusted.

There are the weekly crop reports. The first August report showed some deterioration in the corn crop, but some of that was accounted for in the next report. The second week was flat.

How about the Aug. 15, Aug. 22, and Aug. 29 weekly crop progress reports?

On Aug. 11 the USDA released the aforementioned Aug. 1 Crop Production Report, and it surprised the market.

The average trade guess was 155.6 bushels per acre and the USDA estimate was 153 bushels per acre. This is 5-9 bushels per acre less than trend, depending on whether you use a pre-1980-2010 period or a 1991-2010 time period.

This meant about 170 million bushels less production than the trade was expecting. Michigan’s projected 2011 corn yield was 142 bushels per acre, a bit above trend, but way below last year's 150 bushels per acre, and remember this report doesn't assume an early frost or the recent cool nights.

The report used an objective yield survey in 10 states (soybeans is 11 states, Michigan is not in either the corn or soybean objective yield data), and farmer surveys in all corn growing states.