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U.S. corn crop continues to push toward record

U.S. corn crop continues to push toward record

In USDA's first major crop update in nearly two months, the agency is projecting record U.S. corn production and record rice yields. USDA's Oct. 11 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates and Crop Production reports were cancelled due to the government shutdown.

The first USDA reports released in nearly two months are still forecasting a record U.S. corn crop and record U.S. rice yields. USDA’s Oct. 11 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates and Crop Production reports were cancelled during the 16 day government shutdown.

The Nov. 8 reports estimated U.S. corn production at a record 13.989 billion bushels, 146 million bushels higher than the September report. A 1.9-million-acre reduction in harvested area was more than offset by a 5.1-bushel-per-acre increase in forecast yield. At 160.4 bushels per acre, the national average yield remains 4.3 bushels per acre below the record of 2009-10.

Despite a late-planted crop and July and August dryness across much of the Corn Belt, cooler-than-normal summer temperatures and an extended growing season have supported higher-than-expected yields for most producers.

Higher yields are forecast this month across the Plains, Corn Belt, and South. Sorghum production is also higher, up 20 million bushels from the September forecast.

Corn exports are projected 175 million bushels higher with larger supplies and lower prices that have increased the competitiveness of U.S. corn. Ending stocks for 2013-14 are projected 32 million bushels higher at 1.887 billion bushels.

U.S. rice production in 2013-14 is forecast at 188.7 million hundredweight, 3.7 million above the September forecast due to an increase in yield to a record 7,660 pounds per acre, up 149 pounds per acre from the September estimate. Harvested area is unchanged at 2.46 million acres. Long-grain rice production is up 2.5 million hundredweight to 129 million hundredweight, and combined medium- and short-grain rice production was raised 1.2 million hundredweight to 59.7 million hundredweight.

Long-grain rice exports were raised 2 million hundredweight to 68 million hundredweight, and combined medium- and short-grain rice exports were unchanged at 32 million. Rice ending stocks are forecast at 31.2 million hundredweight, up 4 percent from September, but down 15 percent from a year ago. World rice production was lowered 3.6 million tons from the September  projection to 473.2 million, still a record, and 4.2 million larger than the preceding year.

Soybean production is forecast at 3.258 billion bushels, up 109 million as higher yields more than offset lower harvested area. Soybean yield is projected at 43 bushels per acre, up 1.8 bushels. U.S. soybean exports for 2013-14 were raised 80 million bushels to 1.45 billion bushels. Soybean ending stocks are projected at 170 million bushels, up 20 million from the September forecast. Global soybean production is projected at 283.5 million tons, up 1.9 million tons.

U.S. cotton production was raised nearly 2 percent to 13.1 million bales, due mainly to increases for the Delta and Southeast. Domestic mill use was raised 100,000 bales to 3.6 million bales, based on strong early season activity. Exports are unchanged at 10.4 million bales. Ending stocks were increased to 3 million bales, the equivalent of 21 percent of total use.

World stocks are projected at 95.7 million bales and include 57.8 million bales held by China.

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