WASHINGTON, Sept. 11, 2015 – USDA on Friday trimmed its yield and production estimates for the U.S. corn crop, which is still expected to be the third-biggest on record.

The department is now projecting a national yield of 167.5 bushels per acre, down from 168.8 bushels predicted in August and lower than last year’s record yield of 171 bushels per acre. Farmers will harvest 13.585 billion bushels this fall, compared with the August forecast of 13.686 billion bushels and the record 2014 crop of 14.216 billion bushels, USDA said in its monthly report on World Agriculture and Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE).

The market was expecting slight reductions, following reports of disappointing yields in some of the southern producing states. A Reuters survey of traders had the average yield coming in at 167.7 bushels per acre, and production at 13.599 billion bushels.

In a MarketSense blog post before the report, Arlan Suderman, senior market analyst for Water Street Solution, said yields were coming in at 10 percent to 30 percent below year-ago levels, with some of the worst corn yet to be harvested.

“Areas of the northwestern Midwest will see good yields, records in some cases,” Suderman wrote. “But yield estimates are coming down in the region due to a poor finish to the crop due to heat, dryness in some cases, but more commonly, anthracnose and other stalk diseases.”

Earlier this week, USDA said about 68 percent of the corn crop was rated good or excellent as of Sept. 6, compared with 74 percent at the same time a year earlier.

Some other highlights from today’s WASDE:

-The U.S. soybean crop is estimated at 3.935 billion bushels, up 19 million bushels from the month-ago figure due to higher projected yields.

-Wheat ending stocks are seen at 875 million bushels, up 25 million bushels from the August forecast and the largest since the 2009-2010 crop year. Estimated exports for 2015-2016 were lowered by the same amount to 900 million bushels.

-USDA raised its estimate of the cotton crop to 13.43 million bales, from 13.08 million, mostly due to a bigger crop in Texas, the biggest cotton-producing state.

-Rice production is seen at 189.5 million hundredweight (cwt), down 15.5 million cwt from August, on smaller yields and lower estimated harvested acreage.


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