Morning Star takes a deeper dive into the May 2023 USDA NASS report.

The Morning Star Packing Company is committed to unraveling the intricacies of the agricultural industry through a data-driven lens. Following our June 2 TOMATO BITES video update, which delved into the USDA’s revised processing tomato contract intentions and the extraordinary developments in California’s transplanting season, we are now presenting an even deeper layer of analysis.

Based on previous May NASS reports, we can estimate the 2023 paid short tons processed by comparing the anticipated 2023 harvested acres to the actual tons per acre harvested yield from 2014 to 2022.

The NASS report provides information on two types of acreage: planted and harvested. Usually, around 1.95% of planted acres are lost due to weather-related issues before reaching the harvest stage.

For 2023 crop, continued transplanting into mid-June makes corresponding forecasted harvest run through to the end of October. This leads to a similar situation as 2022 crop, wherein 6,000 less acres were harvested than planted. If we apply the 6,000 acre deduct to the current May contracted acres, we can estimate that 248,000 acres will likely be harvested. Forecasts for harvested tons in October continue to remain at risk for lower yield and quality due to shorter, cooler days and the onset of El Nino conditions in the fall, which typically brings wet weather to California.

To calculate the ton per acre yield, we divide the actual production tons in a given year by the actual harvested acres. We then multiplied each of these actual crop year yields by the 248,000 harvest acres forecast. Finally, we multiplied the 2023 acres by the nine-year weighted average of the dataset.

Using the 2014-2022 weighted average tons per acre multiplied by our forecasted 248,000 acres would produce a 12.07 million paid short ton crop. The 2018 crop yield creates the highest tonnage forecast of 12.91 million paid short tons and 2022 crop creates the lowest volume forecast of 11.57 million paid short tons.

It’s worth noting that the 2023 crop at 12.70 million paid short tons would require the second highest crop tons per acre yield behind the record 2018 tons per acre yield.

We hope this information provides you with valuable insights into the expected crop performance in 2023. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your sales colleague.

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