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Abstract

Early-season indications of corn acreage and production are important to farmers, to processors, and to the Government. This article compares the earliest indication of corn acreage and production each season with the actual outcome of the crop as estimated in December. During the last two or three decades, more than 80 percent of the year-to-year variation in corn acreage has been reflected in the Mare?, 1 intentions, and about 60 percent of the variation in corn production has been reflected in the July 1 indications. But 40 percent of the variation in corn production has been determined after July 1, and decisions based on July indications must allow for this remaining uncertainty. In general, the range of uncertainty is reduced substantially by the August and September crop reports. The September estimates have differed from the December estimates by less than 100 million bushels in 20 of the last 32 years.

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