A new report is optimistic about Missouri’s corn and soybean crop, too optimistic for the State Agriculture Director.

A report from the United States Department of Agriculture stays Missouri farmers planted just shy of three million acres of corn, nearly 20% less than last year. Still, yields are expected to total 380 million bushels, which would make it the fourth largest Missouri corn crop ever. The USDA reports 5.3 million acres of soybeans were planted in Missouri, the largest planted acreage since 1999. Production is forecast at 189 million bushels, the third largest on record.

State Agriculture Director Don Steen, speaking to us from a steer show at the State Fair, says those farmers not flooded out benefited from early spring rains. Steen says several farmers have told him they have the best corn they have ever grown.

Still, Steen believes the report is too optimistic and depends on a late frost, which he says farmers can never count on. He says a mid-September crop will greatly reduce the yields of fields planted late. To achieve the predictions embedded in the USDA report, the frost, according to Steen, would have to be delayed until mid-October.

Weather made or broke yields this year. Those who planted early benefited. Others lost everything from flooding. Steen says he will watch to see if the optimistic report turns out to be true.

Download/listen Brent Martin reports (1:15 MP3)