USDA Ups Crop Estimates

The U.S. soybean crop continues to build toward a new record, along with expected yields for several southern states, according to USDA’s Sept. 11 Crop Production Report. USDA also increased production estimates over last month for corn, cotton, and rice.

Soybean

Soybean production is forecast at a record high 3.25 billion bushels, up 1 percent from the August forecast and up 10 percent from last year.

Based on Sept. 1 conditions, yields are expected to average 42.3 bushels per acre, up 0.6 bushel from last month and up 2.7 bushels from 2008. If realized, this will be the third highest yield on record. Yields were forecast higher or unchanged in all states except Indiana, where the yield is expected to be down 2 bushels.

The largest increases in yield from the August forecast are expected in Alabama and Maryland, up 5 and 6 bushels, respectively. If realized, the forecasted yields in Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi will be records and the forecasted yields in Nebraska, North Carolina, and Ohio will tie previous records.

Area for harvest in the United States is forecast at 76.8 million acres, up slightly from June estimates and up 3 percent from 2008.

Corn

U.S. corn production is estimated 193 million bushels higher than last month’s report. USDA reported the national average yield is projected at a record 161.9 bushels per acre. U.S. corn exports for 2009/2010 are raised 100 million bushels due to higher projected imports for Canada and lower production in South America and China.

Based on record July and August production of gasoline blends with ethanol, as reported by the Energy Information Agency, beginning stocks are lowered 25 million bushels reflecting higher anticipated corn use for ethanol in 2008/2009.

Cotton

Cotton production was forecast at 13.4 million bales, up 2 percent from last month and up 5 percent from last year. Upland cotton production was forecast at 13.1 million bales, up 2 percent from last month and up 6 percent from last year. Producers in Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Tennessee are expecting record high yields.

Expected cotton yields were increased from last month from 875 pounds to 960 pounds for Mississippi; from 1,061 pounds to 1,132 pounds for Missouri; from 858 pounds to 864 pounds for Louisiana; from 916 pounds to 960 pounds for Tennessee; and from 1,025 pounds to 1,056 pounds for Arkansas. Expected yields for Texas, the largest cotton growing state this year, was unchanged from last month at 710 pounds.

Rice

U.S. rice production in 2009-10 is forecast at 217.9 million hundredweight, up 6.8 million from last month due to both an increase in area harvested and yield. Harvested area is estimated at 3.1 million acres, up 91,000 acres from the August estimate. The average yield is estimated at 7,051 pounds per acre, up 12 pounds per acre. Long-grain production is estimated at 153.3 million hundredweight, up 2.9 million from last month, while combined medium- and short-grain production is estimated at 64.7 million hundredweight, up 3.9 million from a month ago.

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