2012 corn crop declines slightly from August

by Ron Sterk
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WASHINGTON – US 2012 corn production was forecast at 10,727,364,000 bushels, down 51,225,000 bushels from 10,778,589,000 bushels forecast in August and down 13 percent from 12,358,412,000 bushels in 2011, the US Department of Agriculture(USDA) said in its Sept. 12 Crop Production report. Soybean production was forecast at 2,634,310,000 bushels, down 57,704,000 bushels, or 2 percent, from 2,692,014,000 bushels forecast in August and down 421,722,000 bushels, or 14 percent, from 3,056,032,000 bushels last year.

If realized, corn production would be the lowest since 10,531,123,000 bushels in 2006, the USDA said.
The USDA corn number was above the average pre-report trade estimate of 10,403 million bushels. The soybean number was slightly below the pre-report average of about 2,638 million bushels.

Corn, soybean and wheat futures traded lower immediately after the report but soy complex futures turned higher and corn losses were pared already by 8:30 a.m. Central time.

The USDA does not update wheat production estimates in its September Crop Production report. The next wheat numbers will be in the Sept. 28 Small Grains Summary.

Based on Aug. 1 conditions, corn yield was forecast at 122.8 bushels an acre, down 0.6 bushels from 123.4 bushels forecast in August, down 24.4 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, unchanged from August but up 4 percent from 83,981,000 acres in 2011.

“Scattered showers and slightly cooler conditions provided some relief to later planted corn in parts of the Midwest during the first week of August but extreme heat and a continued lack of moisture in the southern and western Corn Belt continued to take a toll on the crop,” the USDA said.

Soybean yield was forecast at 35.3 bushels an acre, down 0.8 bushels from 36.1 bushels forecast in August, down 6.2 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, unchanged from August but up slightly from 73,636,000 acres in 2011.

Sorghum production in 2012 was forecast at 246,021,000 bushels, down 1,606,000 bushels, or about 1 percent, from 247,627,000 bushels forecast in August but up 31,578,000 bushels, or 15 percent, from 214,443,000 bushels in 2011.

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