Latest Crop Production Report Shows Toll of Drought
USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service now expects the nation’s corn growers to harvest 87.4-million acres this year – down two-percent from June estimates. After a fast start to planting – a very dry summer has developed into a drought across most of the Corn Belt states. As a result – growers are forecast to produce 10.8-billion bushels – 13-percent less than in 2011 – despite planting the largest number of acres to corn in the past 75 years. Based on conditions as of August 1st – corn yields are expected to average 123.4-bushels per acre – down 23.8-bushels from last year. Soybean growers have also been greatly affected by the drought conditions. Soybean production is now forecast at 2.69-billion bushels – a 12-percent drop from 2011. The yield is expected to average 5.4-bushels less per acre than the 2011 crop at 36.1-bushels.
All wheat production – on the other hand – is expected to come in 13-percent higher than 2011 at 2.27-billion bushels. The yield for all wheat is projected at 46.5-bushels per acre – a slight increase from last month and up 2.8-bushels from last year. In the 18 major producing states – harvest was 85-percent complete by July 29th.
Cotton production is forecast higher than 2011 as well. The 17.7-million bale projection is up 13-percent from last year. Producers expect to harvest 10.8-million acres of all cotton.
NASS interviewed more than 28-thousand producers across the country to prepare for Friday’s Crop Production report. The agency also conducted field and lab measurements on corn, soybeans, wheat and cotton in the major producing states.