U.S. corn, soybean crops down from October

by Ron Sterk
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WASHINGTON — U.S. 2011 corn production was forecast at 12,309,936,000 bus, down 1% from 12,432,910,000 bus forecast in October and down 1% from 12,446,865,000 bus in 2010. Soybean production was forecast at 3,045,558,000 bus, down 14,429,000 bus from 3,059,987,000 bus in October and down 9% from 3,329,181,000 bus last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its Nov. 9 Crop Production report.

Both U.S.D.A. production numbers were below the average of pre-report trade estimates of 12,402 million bus for corn and 3,059 million bus for soybeans.

Based on Nov. 1 conditions, corn yield was forecast at 146.7 bus an acre, down 1.4 bus from 148.1 bus an acre in October and down 6.1 bus from 152.8 bus an acre as the final 2010 average yield. Harvested area was forecast at 83.9 million acres, unchanged from October but up 3% from 81.4 million acres in 2010.

“If realized, this will be the fourth largest production total on record for the United States,” the U.S.D.A. said. The corn yield average would be the lowest since 2003.

Soybean yield was forecast at 41.3 bus an acre, down 0.2 bu from 41.5 bus an acre in October and down 2.2 bus from 43.5 bus an acre in 2010. Harvested area was forecast at 73.7 million acres, unchanged from October and down 4% from 76.6 million acres in 2010.

The U.S.D.A. yield numbers were below the average trade forecast of 147.9 bus an acre for corn 41.5 bus an acre for soybeans.

“If realized, the average yield will be the second lowest since 2003,” the U.S.D.A. said.

Sorghum production in 2011 was forecast at 245,909,000 bus, up 1% from 243,800,000 bus in October but down 29% from 345,395,000 bus in 2010 and the lowest since 1956, the U.S.D.A. said. Harvested area at 4.43 million acres was unchanged from October, down 8% from 2010 and the lowest since 1936.

U.S. 2011 rice production was forecast at 188,069,000 cwts, up 1% from 186,903,000 cwts in October but down 23% from 243,104,000 cwts in 2010.

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