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Corn+Soybean Digest

Crop Production Forecast Is Up From 2003

Corn production is forecast at 10.9 billion bushels, up 8 percent from last year and 22 percent above 2002. Based on conditions as of August 1, yields are expected to average 148.9 bushels per acre, up 6.7 bushels from last year. If realized, both production and yield would be the largest on record. The previous record for both was set last year when production was estimated at 10.1 billion bushels and yield was 142.2 bu./acre. Yields are higher in most of the Corn Belt and Great Plains States as weather conditions have been favorable during much of the growing season. Farmers expect to harvest 73.4 million acres of corn for grain, virtually unchanged from June but up 3 percent from 2003.

Soybean production is forecast at 2.88 billion bushels, up 19 percent from 2003 and 4 percent from 2002. If realized, this would be the second largest U.S. soybean production on record. Based on August 1 conditions, yields are expected to average 39.1 bushels per acre, up 5.7 bushels from 2003. Yields are higher than 2003 throughout the Grain Plains and across the Corn Belt, but lower than the record high yields of 2003 in the Southeast. Area for harvest, at 73.7 million acres, is unchanged from June but up 2 percent from 2003 acreage.

All cotton production is forecast at 20.2 million 480-pound bales, up 11 percent from last year's 18.3 million bales. The yield is expected to average 727 pounds per harvested acre, down 3 pounds from 2003. Upland cotton production is forecast at 19.5 million 480-pound bales, 9 percent above 2003. American-Pima production is forecast at 703,000 bales, up 63 percent from last year's output. Producers expect to harvest 13.3 million acres of all cotton, 11 percent above last year. Upland cotton harvested area, at 13.1 million acres, is 1.24 million acres more than a year ago. American-Pima harvested area is expected to total 250,000 acres, 41 percent more than 2003. Arizona and Texas increased American-Pima planted area by 1,000 and 4,000 acres, respectively, resulting in a total U.S. American-Pima planted estimate of 252,000 acres.

All wheat production is placed at 2.12 billion bushels, up 3 percent from the July forecast but down 9 percent from 2003. Based on August 1 conditions, the U.S. yield is forecast at 42.0 bushels per acre, up 1.4 bushels from last month.

Winter wheat production is forecast at 1.49 billion bushels, up 1 percent from last month but 13 percent below 2003. The U.S. yield is forecast at 42.8 bushels per acre, up 0.6 bushel from last month.

Hard Red Winter, at 853 million bushels, is up 2 percent from a month ago. Soft Red Winter is down 1 percent from the last forecast, at 380 million bushels. White Winter is up 3 percent from last month and totals 256 million bushels.

Durum wheat production is forecast at 89.0 million bushels, up less than 1 percent from last month but down 8 percent from 2003. The U.S. yield is forecast at 35.3 bushels per acre, 2.1 bushels more than last month. Planted area is estimated at 2.59 million acres, 150,000 acres less than last month and 11 percent below the 2003 total. Area harvested for grain is forecast at 2.52 million acres, also down 150,000 acres from last month and 12 percent less than last year. Planted area and acres harvested for grain in North Dakota were both reduced by 150,000 acres as farmers were not able to plant all originally intended Durum acres due to persistent wet weather through the middle of June.

Other spring wheat production is forecast at 545 million bushels, up 9 percent from last month and 2 percent above 2003. Acreage intended for harvest is unchanged from last month. The U.S. yield is forecast at 41.2 bushels per acre, 3.3 bushels more than on July 1. Of the production total, 502 million is Hard Red Spring wheat, up 9 percent from last month.

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