USDA forecasts record corn, soybean production |

USDA forecasts record corn, soybean production

Corn production this year may be the highest ever recorded for the United States, but slightly lower than predicted, the Agriculture Department’s National Agricultural Statistics Service reported today.

“Corn production is forecast at 14.0 billion bushels, up 1 percent from 2013. Based on conditions as of August 1, yields are expected to average 167.4 bushels per acre, up 8.6 bushels from 2013. If realized, this will be the highest yield and production on record for the United States,” NASS said in a news release.

Area harvested for grain is forecast at 83.8 million acres, unchanged from the June forecast but down 4 percent from 2013.

The forecast was slightly lower than analysts predicted, however, according to a report in today’s Wall Street Journal.

Analysts told WSJ that corn production would be 14.2 billion bushels based on yields of 170 bushels per acre. The August crop report is considered important because it is based on field reports.

Nevertheless, the size of the corn crop led Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, an ethanol group, to declare, “It is clear from this report that the food versus fuel debate over the U.S. renewable fuel policy can be put to bed. Our farmers have once again proven we can produce abundant quantities of high quality food, feed, fiber and renewable fuel.”

Soybean production is forecast at a record 3.82 billion bushels, up 16 percent from last year. Based on August 1 conditions, yields are expected to average a record high 45.4 bushels per acre, up 2.1 bushels from last year. Area for harvest in the United States is forecast at a record 84.1 million acres, unchanged from June but up 11 percent from last year.

All cotton production is forecast at 17.5 million 480-pound bales, up 36 percent from last year.

Yield is expected to average 820 pounds per harvested acre, down slightly from last year. Upland cotton production is forecast at 16.9 million 480-pound bales, up 38 percent from 2013. Pima cotton production, forecast at 556,000 bales, is down 12 percent from last year.

Producers expect to harvest 10.2 million acres of all cotton, up 36 percent from 2013. This harvest total includes 10.1 million acres of Upland cotton and 175,900 acres of Pima cotton.

All wheat production, at 2.03 billion bushels, is up 2 percent from the July forecast but down 5 percent from 2013.

Based on August 1 conditions, the United States yield is forecast at 43.9 bushels per acre, up 0.8 bushel from last month but down 3.3 bushels from last year.

–The Hagstrom Report