WASHINGTON, Nov. 9, 2016 -- The U.S. corn crop will total a bin-busting 15.226 billion bushels, the biggest ever, and larger than the 15.057 billion bushels predicted in October, USDA said today. Yields will average a record 175.3 bushels per acre, up from the 173.4 bushels projected a month ago, the department said in its monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report.

The expected record crop is keeping downward pressure on prices, which USDA says will average around $3.30 a bushel for the crop year that began Sept. 1, down from $3.61 a bushel in the previous year.

Noting the struggling farm economy, National Corn Growers Association President Wesley Spurlock called on Congress to “open export markets and improve access through support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.” He said it is “imperative that we work to encourage and grow corn markets wherever possible.”

USDA projects 2.225 billion bushels of corn exports for the year, up from about 1.9 billion in the previous year, and 5.3 billion bushels used to make ethanol, up almost 100 million bushels.

Other highlights from today’s WASDE:

--Soybean production is forecast at 4.361 billion bushels, up 92 million bushels on a projected record average yield of 52.5 bushels per acres. That’s up 1.1 bushels mainly on production gains for Minnesota, North Dakota, and Kansas.

--Projected 2016/17 U.S. wheat ending stocks were raised 5 million bushels to 1.143 million on expected reduction in food use.

--The estimate for the 2016/17 U.S. rice crop was reduced 1.2 million hundredweight to 234.8 million on lower yields. Ending stocks were lowered by the same amount. The average yield forecast is reduced 39 pounds per acre to 7,493.

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--Milk production forecasts for 2016 and 2017 were lowered from last month as recent data indicated that the U.S. cow inventory increased less rapidly than previously expected. However, output per cow is raised from last month.

--Cattle prices are forecast lower for the remainder of 2016 and for 2017. Large supplies of fed cattle are currently weighing on prices and are expected to carry into next year, USDA said. Hog prices were lowered for 2016 and early 2017 on supply pressure. However late-2017 prices are expected to reflect demand from new slaughter facilities.


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