Big crops keep getting bigger, farmers say, and that looks to be the case this year.

USDA today raised its harvest estimate for corn and soybeans, which were already forecast to be in record or near-record territory.

For corn, the biggest U.S. crop, the projection is now for a harvest of 14.827 billion bushels, according to the September World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE). That’s up 241 million bushels from a month ago on an increased yield forecast (181.3 bu/acre). If realized, the crop would be the second-highest on record. 

“Among the major producing states, yields are forecast to be record high in Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Indiana, Ohio, and South Dakota,” USDA says in the report.

The season-average corn price received by producers is projected 10 cents lower with a midpoint of $3.50 per bushel. Analysts surveyed by Reuters were expecting production of about 14.5 billion bushels, on average.

Soybean production is projected at a record 4.693 billion bushels, up 107 million on a yield forecast of 52.8 bushels per acre, the highest ever. The projection is close to the trade expectation of 4.656 billion bushels. The 2018/19 U.S. season-average soybean price is forecast at $7.35 to $9.85 per bushel, down 30 cents at the midpoint, $8.60.

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Other highlights from today’s report:

  • WHEAT: The U.S. 2018/19 wheat supply and demand estimates are unchanged from last month. Global wheat supplies, however, are raised 4.7 million tons on a 3.4-million-ton production increase and higher beginning stocks. Harvest estimates were raised for Russia, Kazakhstan and India, partially offset by decreases in Australia and Canada.
  • RICE: U.S. 2018/19 all rice supplies are raised 3.3 million hundredweight (cwt) this month to 275.9 million as higher production more than offsets lower beginning stocks. Farmers are expected to harvest 219.5 million cwt, up from 210.9 million forecast in August.
  • COTTON: Production is forecast at 19.68 million bales, up from 19.24 million predicted a month ago but down from 20.92 million bales gathered in the previous year. Estimates for exports and ending stocks were also raised, relative to last month. A bale of cotton weighs 480 pounds.
  • LIVESTOCK: The forecast for total meat production in 2018 is reduced from last month on decreases in commercial pork and turkey production. The annual beef production forecast is unchanged while estimated pork production is reduced on the current pace of slaughter and slightly lighter expected carcass weights in the third quarter.
  • MILK: The milk production forecast for 2018 is lowered from the previous month on slightly lower milk cow numbers and a slower rate of growth in milk per cow in the third quarter.

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