U.S.D.A.: 2008 corn crop at 12,288 million bus

by Ron Sterk
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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture in its August Crop Production report forecast 2008 U.S. corn production at 12,288 million bus, which would make it the second largest on record. The crop is down 786 million bus, or 6%, from 13,074 million bus in 2007, the largest on record.

Soybean production in 2008 was forecast at 2,973 million bus, up 388 million bus, or 15%, from 2,585 million bus last year and the fourth largest ever but 7% below the record large 2006 crop.

The U.S.D.A. corn forecast was above pre-report trade estimates that averaged near 12,000 million bus while the soybean number was below expectations averaging near 3,000 million bus.

Corn yield based on Aug. 1 conditions was forecast at 155 bus an acre, up 3.9 bus from last year and the second highest on record behind 2004, the U.S.D.A. said. Harvest area was forecast at 79.3 million acres, up 350,000 acres from June but down 8% from 2007.

The average soybean yield was forecast at 40.5 bus an acre, down 0.7 bu from last year. Area for harvest was forecast at 73.3 million acres, up 1.2 million acres, or 2%, from June and up 17% from 2007.

Production of all wheat harvested in 2008 was forecast at 2,462 million bus, up 1,732,000 bus from July and up 19% from 2007, the U.S.D.A. said. The U.S.D.A. forecast yield at 43.5 bus per acre, unchanged from July but up 3 bus from a year ago.

Winter wheat production was forecast at 1,875 million bus, up 1% from July and up 24% from 2007. Production of hard red winter wheat was forecast at 1,055 million bus, up 1% from July and up 10% from a year ago. Soft red winter production was forecast at 609 million bus, up slightly from July and up 70% from last year. White winter wheat outturn was forecast at 211 million bus, down 3% from July but up 7% from 2007.

Durum production was forecast at 86.6 million bus, down 4% from July but up 21% from a year ago. Yield was forecast at 33.5 bus an acre, down 1.3 bus from July and 0.4 bus below 2007.

Production of spring wheat other than durum was forecast at 501 million bus, down 1% from July but up 5% from a year ago. Outturn of hard red spring wheat was forecast at 466 million bus, down 4 million bus from July but up 4% from a year ago. White spring wheat production was forecast at 35 million bus, down 4% from July but up 15% from 2007.

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