US 2012 corn crop to decline 13%

by Ron Sterk
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WASHINGTON — US 2012 corn production was forecast at 10,778,589,000 bushels, down 13 percent from 12,358,412,000 bushels in 2011, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said in its Aug. 10 Crop Production report. Soybean production was forecast at 2,692,014,000 bushels, down 12 percent from 3,056,032,000 bushels last year. All-wheat production was forecast at 2,268,246,000 bushels, up 2 percent from 2,224,075,000 bushels in July and up 13 percent from 1,999,347,000 bushels in 2011.

If realized, corn production would be the lowest since 10,531,123,000 bushels in 2006, the USDA said. It was the first USDA survey-based forecast of the season for corn, soybeans and other row crops.

The USDA corn number was below the average pre-report trade estimate of 10,971 million bushels. The soybean number was below the pre-report average of about 2,786 million bushels. The all-wheat number was above the average analyst estimate of 2,220 million bushels.

Based on Aug. 1 conditions, corn yield was forecast at 123.4 bushels an acre, down 23.8 bushels from 147.2 bushels an acre in 2011 and the lowest since 113.5 bushels an acre in 1995, the USDA said. Harvested area was forecast at 87,361,000 acres, down 2 percent from 88,851,000 acres in the previous forecast but up 4 percent from 83,981,000 acres in 2011.

Soybean yield was forecast at 36.1 bushels an acre, down 5.4 bushels from 41.5 bushels an acre in 2011 and the lowest since 33.9 bushels an acre in 2003. Harvested area was forecast at 74,635,000 acres, down 1 percent from 75,315,000 acres forecast previously but up 1 percent from 73,636,000 acres in 2011.

All-wheat average yield was forecast at 46.5 bushels an acre, up 0.9 bushels from 45.6 bushels an acre in July and up 2.8 bushels from 43.7 bushels an acre in 2011. Harvested area was forecast at 48,826,000 acres, unchanged from July but up 7 percent from 45,705,000 acres in 2011.

In its first survey-based rice crop forecast of the season, the USDA estimated 2012 U.S. rice production at 189,972,000 cwts, up 3 percent from 185,009,000 cwts in 2011.

Sorghum production in 2012 was forecast at 247,627,000 bushels, up 15 percent from 214,443,000 bushels in 2011.

The USDA forecast 2012 oats production at 66,519,000 bushels, up 2 percent from 65,276,000 bushels in July and up 24 percent from 53,649,000 bushels in 2011, which was the lowest on record.

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