USDA forecasts plentiful soybean crop

WASHINGTON — U.S. farmers successfully battled soggy July weather and remain on target for producing the largest soybean crop in history, according to the Crop Production report, released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Soybean forecast

Soybean production is forecast at a record-high 3.2 billion bushels, up 8 percent from last year. Yield is expected to average 41.7 bushels per acre, up 2.1 bushels per acre from 2008.

If realized, this will be the fourth largest soybean yield on record.

Corn production is forecast at 12.8 billion bushels, up 5 percent from last year, but down 2 percent from the 2007 record.

Based on conditions as of Aug. 1, yields are expected to average 159.5 bushels per acre, up 5.6 bushels from last year.

If realized, this will be the second highest yield on record.

Growers are expected to harvest 80 million acres of corn for grain, down 100,000 acres from June, but up 2 percent from last year.

Cotton production

All cotton production is forecast at 13.2 million bales, up 3 percent from last year. Yield is expected to average 816 pounds per harvested acre, up 3 pounds from last year.

Producers expect to harvest 7.77 million acres of all cotton, up 3 percent from last year. Winter wheat production is forecast at 1.54 billion bushels, up 1 percent from the July 1 forecast, but down 18 percent from 2008.

Based on Aug. 1 conditions, the U.S. yield is forecast at 44.2 bushes per acre, up from last month, but 3 bushels below last year.

Major producing states

Harvest in 18 major producing states was 85 percent complete by Aug. 2.

The August Crop Production report contains the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s first estimates of yield and production for corn, soybeans and other spring-planted row crops.

Nearly 28,000 producers in major producing states, which usually account for about 75 percent of the U.S. production, were interviewed to obtain probable yield. These growers will continue to be surveyed throughout the growing season to provide indications of average yields.

Available online

The Crop Production report is published monthly and is available at www.nass.usda.gov.

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