U.S.D.A. sees 2009 soybean crop up 8%, corn up 5%

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture in its August Crop Production report forecast 2009 U.S. soybean production at 3.2 billion bushels, up 240 million bushels, or 8%, from 2.96 billion bushels in 2008 and the largest on record.

Corn production in 2009 was forecast at 12,761 million bushels, up 660 million bushels, or 5%, from 12.1 billion bushels last year and the second largest ever behind 2007.

The U.S.D.A. soybean forecast was near the average of pre-report trade estimates while the corn forecast was 2% above the average of expectations.

The average soybean yield based on Aug. 1 conditions was forecast at 41.7 bushels an acre, up 2.1 bushels from last year. Area for harvest was forecast at 76.8 million acres, up 300,000 acres from June and up 2.2 million acres, or 3%, from 2008.

Corn yield was forecast at 159.5 bushels an acre, up 5.6 bushels from last year and the second highest on record behind 2004, the U.S.D.A. said. Harvest area was forecast at 80 million acres, down 100,000 acres from June but up 1.4 million, or 2%, from 2008.

Production of all wheat harvested in 2009 was forecast at 2.2 billion bushels, up 72 million bushels, or 3%, from 2.1 billion bushels in July but down 316 million bushels, or 13% from 2008, the U.S.D.A. said. The U.S.D.A. forecast yield at 43.3 bushels per acre, up 1.4 bushels from July but down 1.6 bushels, or 4%, from 2008.

Winter wheat production was forecast at 1,537 million bushels, up 1% from July but down 18% from 2008. Production of hard red winter wheat was forecast at 915 million bushels, up 1% from July. Soft red winter production was forecast at 412 million bushels, down slightly from July. White winter wheat outturn was forecast at 211 million bushels, up 1% from July.

Durum production was forecast at 98 million bushels, up 21% from July and up 15% from a year ago. Yield was forecast at 39.9 bushels an acre, up 6.8 bushels from July and up 7.1 bushels from 2008.

Production of spring wheat other than durum was forecast at 548 million bushels, up 8% from July and up slightly from a year ago. Outturn of hard red spring wheat was forecast at 511 million bushels, up 9% from July.

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