August 13, 2008


USDA raises corn production forecast on good growing weather



US farmers will produce 12.288 billion bushels of corn this year, according to a new US Department of Agriculture survey that shows a substantial increase from the government's July forecast.


The USDA said Tuesday (August 12) in its supply and demand report that the August forecast is more than a half of a billion bushel increase from the 11.715 billion it predicted a month ago.


"Nearly ideal growing season weather across much of the Corn Belt since late June has supported crop development and increased yield prospects," the USDA said.


Average corn yields will be higher than expected just a month ago, the USDA said. The new forecast is for 155 bushels per acre, up from the July prediction of 148.4 bushels.


"If realized, this (corn) yield would be the second highest on record, behind 2004," the USDA said in a separate crop production report, also released Tuesday.


Along with stronger yields and production, the USDA is lowering its prediction for average farm gate prices. The new forecast ranges between $4.90 to $5.90 per bushel. Just a month ago, the average farm-gate price for corn produced this year was $5.50 to $6.50.


The new survey-based forecast released Tuesday suggests a near return to the record-level corn production of last year in which farmers produced.

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