U.S.D.A. forecasts larger corn, smaller soybean crops

by Ron Sterk
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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast 2007 corn production at a record 13,318 million bus, up 10 million bus from its September forecast and up 2,783 million bus, or 26%, from 2006. U.S. soybean production was forecast at 2,598 million bus, down 21 million bus from September and down 590 million bus, or 19%, from a year ago.

Average corn yield based on Oct. 1 conditions was forecast at 154.7 bus per acre, down 1.1 bus from September but up 5.6 bus from a year ago and second only to the 2004 record high of 160.4 bus. Harvested area was forecast at 86.1 million acres, up 653,000 acres from September, up 15 million acres from 2006 and the largest area since 1933.

Soybean yields were forecast to average 41.4 bus per acre, unchanged from September but 1.3 bus below a year ago. Harvested area was forecast at 62.8 million acres, down 447,000 acres from September and down 11.8 million acres from last year’s record large area.

The U.S.D.A. corn and soybean production and yield forecasts all were below average trade expectations.

Sorghum production was forecast at 501 million bus, up 6.7 million bus from the September forecast and up 224 million bus, or 81% from 2006.

The U.S. rice crop was forecast at 197 million swts, up 5 million cwts from September and up 3 million cwts from 2006.

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