WASHINGTON – The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) lowered its forecast for corn production in its latest Crop Production report. Corn production is forecast at 14.4 billion bushels, down slightly from USDA's previous forecast, but up 3 percent from 2013.

USDA said that based on conditions as of Nov. 1, yields are expected to average 173.4 bushels per acre, down 0.8 bushel from the previous forecast but 14.6 bushels above the 2013 average. If realized, this will be the highest yield and production on record for the United States, the agency noted. The forecast for area harvested for grain is unchanged at 83.1 million acres, but down 5 percent from 2013.

John Anderson, deputy chief economist with the American Farm Bureau Federation, said the drop in national production estimates seems to come from traditionally high-yield states that are now seeing lower production estimates.

“These are not dramatic decreases but they are a bit surprising considering the overall boom we’ve been seeing,” Anderson said. He also said that increased production of ethanol should help absorb this year’s crop.

Soybean production is forecast at a record 3.96 billion bushels, up less than 1 percent from October and up 18 percent from 2013, USDA reported. Based on crop conditions as of Nov. 1, USDA expects yields to average a record high 47.5 bushels per acre, up 0.4 bushel from October and up 3.5 bushels from a year ago. The forecast for area for harvest is unchanged from October — and a record —at 83.4 million acres.