USDA forecasts record soybean production

Corn numbers are down, but still possibly third highest production on record

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soybean harvesting
(Farm and Dairy file photo)

WASHINGTON — U.S. farmers are expected to produce a record-high soybean crop this year, according to the Crop Production report issued Aug. 10 by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Up 2 percent from 2016, soybean production is forecast at 4.38 billion bushels, while corn growers are expected to decrease their production by 7 percent from last year, forecast at 14.2 billion bushels. Up 7 percent from last year, area for soybean harvest is forecast at a record 88.7 million acres, with planted area for the nation estimated at a record-high 89.5 million acres, unchanged from the June estimate.

Soybean yields are expected to average 49.4 bushels per acre, down 2.7 bushels from last year, but record soybean yields are expected in Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina.

Corn numbers

Average corn yield is forecast at 169.5 bushels per acre, down 5.1 bushels from last year. If realized, this will be the third highest yield and production on record for the United States.

NASS forecasts record-high yields in Alabama, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina.

Acres planted to corn, at 90.9 million, remain unchanged from NASS’ previous estimate. As of July 30, 61 percent of this year’s corn crop was reported in good or excellent condition, 15 percentage points below the same time last year.

Wheat harvest

Wheat production is forecast at 1.74 billion bushels, down 25 percent from 2016. Growers are expected to produce 1.29 billion bushels of winter wheat this year, down 23 percent from last year. Durum wheat production is forecast at 50.5 million bushels, down 51 percent from last year. All other spring wheat production is forecast at 402 million bushels, down 25 percent from 2016.

Based on Aug. 1 conditions, the U.S. all wheat yield is forecast at 45.6 bushels per acre, down 7 bushels from last year.

NASS interviewed more than 21,000 producers across the country in preparation for this report. The agency also conducted field and lab measurements on corn, soybeans, wheat and cotton in the major producing states, which usually account for about 75 percent of the U.S. production.

 

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