US corn production forecast down 7%, soybeans up 2%

by Ron Sterk
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WASHINGTON — The US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) in its Aug. 10 Crop Production report forecast 2017 US production of corn at 14,153 million bushels, down 7 percent from 2016, and soybeans at 4,381 million bushels, up 2 percent.

Average corn yield in 2017 was forecast at 169.5 bushels an acre, down 3 percent from 174.6 bushels in 2016. Harvested area of corn was forecast at 83.5 million acres, unchanged from the June Acreage report but down 4 percent from last year. The average soybean yield was forecast at 49.4 bushels an acre, down 5 percent from 52.1 bushels last year, with harvested area forecast at a record-high 88.7 million acres, unchanged from June but up 7 percent from 2016.

If realized, soybean production would be record high, topping the previous record of 4,307 million bushels in 2016. Corn production would be the third highest on record after last year’s record of 15,148 million bushels and 14,216 million bushels in 2014.

The USDA forecasts for corn and soybeans were above the average of trade expectations. Corn and soybean futures traded sharply lower immediately after the USDA report was released.

It was the first survey-based forecasts for corn and soybeans. Estimates were based on conditions as of Aug. 1.

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