September 4, 2008


US corn output may miss forecast by 3 percent


US corn output this year could miss the government forecast by up to 3 percent, as rains at the start of sowing shrunk planting areas and yields, an industry official said Wednesday ( September 4, 2008).


Production could drop below 12 billion bushels, or more than 10 percent from last year's figure of 13.3 billion, said Julius Schaaf, chairman of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board.


The range is going to be 11.9 to 12.2 billion bushels, Schaaf, said.


Schaff told Reuters that the US corn crop may not reach its full potential this year and that yields in Iowa, which accounts for 10 percent of the crop, could fall to 169 bushels per acre from 171 bushels last year.


The USDA, which forecast in August corn production of 12.3 billion bushels this year, is expected to unveil new crop estimates on Sept. 12.


Rainfall in spring might have washed away some of the nitrogen applied to fields and the shallow root systems of the crop before the rains might have prevented it from absorbing enough nutrients.


Moreover, planting was one-and-half weeks later than last year and historically the planting dates relate very closely to final yields, Schaff said.


Corn has been planted on 84 million acres, down from 93 million acres last year as farmers switched to soybeans due to attractive prices, he added.

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