USDA forecasts increase in corn, soybean crops

by Ron Sterk
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WASHINGTON – US 2012 corn production was forecast at 10,725,191,000 bushels, up 19,462,000 bushels from 10,705,729,000 bushels forecast in October but down 13 percent from 12,358,412,000 bushels in 2011, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said in its Nov. 9 Crop Production report. Soybean production was forecast at 2,971,022,000 bushels, up 110,732,000 bushels, or 4 percent, from 2,860,290,000 bushels forecast in October but down 4 percent from 3,093,524,000 bushels last year.

If realized, corn production would be the lowest since 10,531,123,000 bushels in 2006, the USDA said. Soybean production would be the lowest since 2,967,007,000 bushels in 2008.

The USDA corn number was above the average pre-report trade estimate of 10,629 million bushels. The soybean number also was above the pre-report average of about 2,891 million bushels.

Soybean futures traded sharply lower immediately after the report at 7:30 a.m. Central time while corn futures were moderately lower.

Based on Nov. 1 conditions, corn yield was forecast at 122.3 bushels an acre, up 0.3 bushels from 122 bushels forecast in October, down 24.9 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 87,721,000 acres, unchanged from October and up 4 percent from 83,981,000 acres in 2011.

Soybean yield was forecast at 39.3 bushels an acre, up 1.5 bushels from 37.8 bushels forecast in October but down 2.6 bushels from 41.9 bushels an acre in 2011 and the lowest since 33.9 bushels an acre in 2003. Harvested area was forecast at 75,693,000 acres, unchanged from October and up 3 percent from 73,776,000 acres in 2011.

Grain sorghum production in 2012 was forecast at 256,164,000 bushels, up 4,187,000 bushels, or 2 percent, from 251,977,000 bushels forecast in October and up 19 percent from 214,443,000 bushels in 2011.

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