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Contact: Sue King, (202) 690-8122
Lance Honig, (202) 720-2127

Corn Production on Up Swing While Soybean, Cotton and Wheat Suffer, USDA Reports

WASHINGTON, August 11, 2011 – As U.S. farmers are on track to produce the third largest corn crop in history, this summer’s extreme hot and dry conditions across much of the country are hindering soybean, cotton and all wheat production. This is the latest forecast, 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 12.9 billion bushels, up 4 percent from last year. Based on conditions as of August 1, corn yields are expected to average 153.0 bushels per acre, up 0.2 bushel from 2010, and the fourth highest yield on record. Acreage planted for all purposes is estimated at 92.3 million acres, unchanged from NASS’s June estimate in the Acreage report.
            NASS reports a different picture for soybean production, which is forecast at 3.06 billion bushels, down 8 percent from last year. Based on August 1 conditions, yields are expected to average 41.4 bushels per acre, down 2.1 bushels from last year. Planted area to soybeans is estimated at 75.0 million acres, down fractionally from the previous NASS estimate.
            One of the largest production declines is reported for cotton as drought plagues much of the Cotton Belt. All cotton production is forecast at 16.6 million 480-pound bales, down 9 percent from last year’s 18.1 million bales. While yield is expected to average 822 pounds per harvested acre, up 10 pounds from last year, producers only expect to harvest 9.67 million acres of all cotton, down 10 percent from 2010.
            All wheat production, at 2.08 billion bushels, is down 1 percent from the July forecast and down 6 percent from last year. Based on conditions as of August 1, the U.S. yield is forecast at 45.2 bushels per acre, up 0.6 bushel from last month but down 1.2 bushels from 2010. Specifically, double-digit decreases are expected in Durum and other spring wheat production from last year due to flooding and excessively wet conditions earlier in the season.
            Durum wheat production is forecast at 57.1 million bushels, down 10 percent from July and down 47 percent from 2010. The U.S. yield is forecast at 42.4 bushels per acre, up 3.7 bushels from last month but unchanged from last year. Acres planted to Durum wheat are down nearly 18 percent from the previous estimate in June, a change based on farmer re-interviews during mid- to late-July.
            Other spring wheat is forecast at 522 million bushels, down 5 percent from last month and down 15 percent from last year. The forecasted yield is 42.5 bushels per acre, up 0.8 bushel from last month but down 3.6 bushels from 2010. Acres planted to other spring wheat are down 7 percent from the estimate in the June Acreage report, another result of the producer re-interviews.
The August Crop Production report contains USDA’s first survey-based estimates of yield and production for corn, soybeans and other spring-planted row crops. Between July 25 and August 6, NASS surveyed approximately 27,000 producers and also took objective field measurements from more than 4,500 plots of land in the major crop-producing states. In addition, producers in Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota were resurveyed for updated planted information following the June Acreage report. Crop Production is published monthly and is available online at


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