Corn, Bean Forecasts Up

Both corn and soybean production forecasts are up from the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s (NASS) September report.

The Oct. 10 NASS report also raised its ending stock projections for the two crops.

Corn production is forecast at 12.2 billion bushels, up 1 percent from last month but 7 percent below 2007. Based on conditions as of Oct. 1, yields are expected to average 154.0 bushels per acre, up 1.7 bushels from September and 2.9 bushels above last year. If realized, this will be the second highest yield on record, behind 2004, and production will be the second largest, behind last year.

Yield forecasts are lower than last month across the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys and eastern Corn Belt as dry conditions during September continued to adversely affect the late developing corn crop. Forecasted yields also decreased in parts of the Delta and Missouri where excessive moisture and high winds from Hurricanes Gustav and Ike stressed the crop. Yield prospects improved in the central Corn Belt, central Great Plains, and upper Mississippi Valley as September rains brought much needed moisture to the region.

Soybean production is forecast at 2.98 billion bushels, up 2 percent from the September forecast and up 11 percent from last year. If realized, this will be the fourth largest production on record. Based on Oct. 1 conditions, yields are expected to average 39.5 bushels per acre, down 0.5 bushel from last month and down 2.2 bushels from 2007. Compared with last month, yields are forecast lower or unchanged across the Corn Belt and Great Plains, with the exception of Illinois and Kansas.

Yields increased or are unchanged from the Sept. 1 forecast across the Southeast, the lower Mississippi Valley, and the mid-Atlantic states. Area for harvest in the U.S. is forecast at 75.5 million acres, up 3 percent from last month and up 18 percent from 2007.

Cotton production, on the other hand, is projected to go down 1 percent. All cotton production is forecast at 13.7 million 480-pound bales, down 1 percent from last month and down 29 percent from last year. Yield is expected to average 849 pounds per harvested acre, unchanged from last month but down 30 pounds from the record yield in 2007. Upland cotton production is forecast at 13.3 million 480-pound bales, down 1 percent from last month and 28 percent below 2007.

Producers in the Southeast and Texas are expecting increased yields from last month, while producers in Louisiana and Mississippi expect lower yields due to the effects of Hurricane Gustav. Upland growers in Arkansas and New Mexico are expecting record high yields. American-Pima production is forecast at 451,000 bales, down 2 percent from last month and down 47 percent from last year.

(Source: National Agricultural Statistics Service)

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