USDA lowers corn crop projections

by Ron Sterk
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WASHINGTON — US 2015 corn production was forecast at 13.585 billion bushels, down 101 million bushels from 13.686 billion bushels forecast in August and down 4 percent from 14.216 billion bushels in 2014, the US Dept. of Agriculture said in its Sept. 11 Crop Production report. Soybean production was forecast at 3.935 billion bushels, up 19 million bushels from 3.916 billion bushels forecast in August but down 1 percent from 3.969 billion bushels last year.

The USDA corn number was above the average pre-report trade estimate of 13.493 billion bushels. The soybean number also was above the pre-report average of about 3.838 billion bushels.

Corn futures traded slightly higher after the report while soybean futures declined.

Based on Sept. 1 conditions, corn yield was forecast at 167.5 bushels an acre, down from 168.8 bushels forecast in August and 171 bushels an acre in 2014, the USDA said. Harvested area was forecast at 81,101,000 acres, unchanged from August but down 2 percent from 2014.

Soybean yield was forecast at 47.1 bushels an acre, up from 46.9 bushels forecast in August but down from 47.8 bushels an acre in 2014. Harvested area was forecast at a record 83,549,000 acres, unchanged from August and up less than 1 percent from 2014.

The USDA corn yield number was above the average trade forecast of 166.6 bushels an acre, and the soybean number also was above the trade average estimate of 46 bushels an acre.

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