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Contact: Ellen Dougherty, (202) 690-8122
Krissy Young, (202) 690-8123

USDA Forecasts Robust Corn and Soybean Crops, Despite Flooding

 

WASHINGTON, Aug 12, 2008 – Despite June’s severe flooding in the Midwest, U.S. farmers are on pace to produce the second largest corn crop and fourth largest soybean crop in history, according to the Crop Production report released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

Corn production is forecast at 12.3 billion bushels, down 6 percent from last year’s record, but up 17 percent from 2006. Based on conditions as of August 1, corn yields are expected to average 155 bushels per acre, up 3.9 bushels from last year. If realized, this would be the second highest corn yield on record, behind 2004. Growers are expected to harvest 79.3 million acres of corn for grain, down 8 percent from last year.

Soybean production is forecast at 2.97 billion bushels, up 15 percent from last year but down 7 percent from the 2006 record. Yields are expected to average 40.5 bushels per acre, down 0.7 bushels from 2007, while harvested area is expected to be 17 percent higher than in 2007.

All cotton production is forecast at 13.8 million bales, down 28 percent from last year. Yield is expected to average 842 pounds per acre, down 37 pounds from last year’s record. Producers expect to harvest 7.85 million acres of all cotton, the lowest harvested area since 1983, and 25 percent less than last year.

The August Crop Production report contains NASS’s first estimates of yield and production for corn, soybeans and other spring-planted row crops. To help ensure that these estimates were based on the best information available, NASS supplemented its standard data collection activities in order to account for the impact of the June flooding in the Midwest. NASS personnel re-interviewed approximately 9,000 farmers in flood-affected areas who had previously reported their planted acreage to the agency in early June. Additionally, NASS increased the number of corn and soybean fields selected for objective field measurements in the flood-affected areas and also increased the sample size for the Agricultural Yield Survey, through which farmers report expected crop yields.

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

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