U.S. 2012 corn crop down slightly from August

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

If realized, corn production would be the lowest since 10,531,123,000 bus in 2006, the U.S.D.A. said.

The U.S.D.A. corn number was above the average pre-report trade estimate of 10,403 million bus. The soybean number was slightly below the pre-report average of about 2,638 million bus.

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 U.S.D.A. 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 bus an acre, down 0.6 bus from 123.4 bus forecast in August, down 24.4 bus from 147.2 bus an acre in 2011 and the lowest since 113.5 bus an acre in 1995, the U.S.D.A. said. Harvested area was forecast at 87,361,000 acres, unchanged from August but up 4% 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 U.S.D.A. said.

Soybean yield was forecast at 35.3 bus an acre, down 0.8 bus from 36.1 bus forecast in August, down 6.2 bus from 41.5 bus an acre in 2011 and the lowest since 33.9 bus 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 bus, down 1,606,000 bus, or about 1%, from 247,627,000 bus forecast in August but up 31,578,000 bus, or 15%, from 214,443,000 bus in 2011.

The U.S.D.A. estimated 2012 U.S. rice production at 196,318,000 cwts, up 6,346,000 cwts, or 3%, from 189,972,000 cwts forecast in August and up 11,309,000 cwts, or 6%, from 185,009,000 cwts in 2011.

Peanut production in 2012 was forecast at 5,919.5 million lbs, up 12% from 5,293 million lbs in August and up 2,288 million lbs, or 63%, from 3,636 million lbs in 2011.

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