ARLINGTON, Va., Feb. 26, 2016 – The U.S. corn production is forecast at 13.825 billion bushels, up 2 percent from 2015 and below the record 14.216 billion-bushel crop in 2014, USDA said today as it released its first complete set of projections for major crops in the 2015-2016 crop year. The projections were released at the USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum in Arlington, Virginia.

The corn crop will be bigger as an increase in planted area will more than offset a small reduction in expected yield, the department said. About 90 million acres will be planted with corn – the country’s most valuable crop – up from 88 million last year; a yield of 168 bushels per acre is expected, down from 168.4 bushels in 2015. Farmers will sell their corn for about $3.45 a bushel, down from $3.60.

Here are the department’s projections for some of the other major crops:

SMALLER SOYBEAN CROP: The soybean crop will total 3.81 billion bushels, down from 3.93 billion in 2015. About 82.5 million acres will be planted, down slightly from last year, while the average national yield will fall to 46.7 bushels per acre, from 48 bushels. The average farm-gate price will fall to $8.50 per bushel from $8.80.

REDUCED WHEAT PRODUCTION: The wheat crop will total 1.991 billion bushels, down about 3 percent from the previous year as farmers reduce the area planted with the grain to 51 million acres, from 54.6 million in the previous year. Yields are expected to increase, averaging 45.9 bushels per acre, up from 43.6 bushels. Cash prices for the year will average $4.20, down from $5.

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BIGGER RICE OUTPUT : A rice crop of 211.5 million hundredweight is predicted, a 10 percent jump from 192.3 cwt in 2015. About 2.8 million acres will be planted with the grain, up from 2.61 million. The average yield is seen higher, at 7,633 pounds per acre, up from 7,470 pounds. Cash prices are expected to hold steady a $12.90 per hundredweight.

BIG JUMP IN COTTON: U.S. all-cotton production is estimated at 14.3 million bales, up 10.5 percent from last year. The area planted with cotton is seen up almost 10 percent at 9.4 million acres. Farmers can expect cash prices averaging 58 cents a pound, down from 59.5 cents a pound.

(This story was updated at 10:22 to CORRECT cotton figures.) 


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