Corn crop estimate reduced but still biggest ever

By Daniel Enoch

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, Nov. 10, 2014 -- USDA is lowering its forecast for the corn harvest slightly and raising its estimate for the soybean crop - but production of both commodities is still projected to be the biggest in history.

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The corn harvest will total 14.407 billion bushels, down 68 million bushels from the October estimate while 3.5 percent bigger than the previous record crop of 13.925 billion bushels in 2013, USDA said today in a monthly report. Farmers are expected to reap about 173.4 bushels from each acre, down 0.8 bushels from the month-ago forecast. If realized, corn yields would still be up almost 15 bushels from the 2013 average and the highest ever.

The soybean crop was estimated at 3.958 billion bushels, up 31 million bushels from the October forecast and 18 percent bigger than last year's 3.358 billion bushels of production. Yields will reach a record 47.5 bushels per acre, up 0.4 bushels from the month-ago projection, USDA said.

For corn, farm-gate prices will average about $3.50 a bushel for the crop year that began Sept. 1, up from $3.40 predicted in October and $4.46 in the previous year, USDA said.

For soybeans, prices will average about $10 a bushel, unchanged from the month-ago forecast and down from $13 a bushel in the previous year. The soybean carryover, or unsold supplies at the end of the marketing year, is forecast at 450 million bushels, unchanged from the month-ago forecast but up from the record low of 92 million bushels at the end of 2013-2014.

U.S. soybean export sales are estimated at 1.720 billion bushels in the marketing year ending Aug. 1, up 20 million from the October forecast, “reflecting the record pace of export sales through late October,” USDA said.

The cotton crop is seen at 16.4 million bales, up 14 million bales from the October projection and up 27 percent from last season's drought-damaged crop of 12.91 million bales. A bale of cotton weight 480 pounds.

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