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USDA lowers cotton forecast

National Agricultural Statistical Service analysts said the reduction will be due primarily to lower harvested acreage in Arkansas, Louisiana, South Carolina and Texas and lower yields along the drought-hit Atlantic Coast.

The national average U.S. cotton yield was pegged at 675 pounds per acre, the same that USDA’s National Agricultural Statistic Service was projecting last month.

Harvested acreage, at 12.9 million acres, was reduced based on administrative data. NASS analysts said the September harvested area reflects decreases of 40,000 acres in Arkansas, 70,000 acres in Louisiana, 9,000 acres in South Carolina, and 102,000 acres in Texas. Conditions improved in Arkansas, Missouri, and Texas, leading to higher yield expectations than last month.

Corn production is forecast at 8.85 billion bushels, down less than 1 percent from last month and down 7 percent from 2001. Based on conditions as of Sept. 1, yields are expected to average 125.4 bushels per acre, up 0.2 bushel from August but down 12.8 bushels from last year. If realized, both the yield and production would be at their lowest levels since 1995.

Yields are lower than last month across much of the Corn Belt and along the Atlantic Coastal Plains as hot and dry conditions persist, analysts said. However, yields are up in the northern Corn Belt, northern Great Plains, and southern Great Plains where total precipitation for the month was above normal.

Farmers expect to harvest 70.5 million acres of corn for grain, down 460,000 acres from August but up 3 percent from 2001.

USDA said U.S. soybean production could total 2.66 billion bushels, up 1 percent from August but 8 percent below 2001. Based on Sept. 1 conditions, yields are expected to average 37.0 bushels per acre, up 0.5 bushel from last month. If realized, this would be the lowest production since 1999.

Acreage for harvest is forecast at 71.8 million acres, down slightly from August and 2 percent below last year. Area expected for harvest was decreased by 230,000 acres in four States due to abandonment.

The States with the largest acreage reductions are Kansas and Nebraska. Downward adjustments to harvested acres were also made in North Carolina and South Dakota. Yield prospects improved in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and across the northern Corn Belt due to mild temperatures and adequate moisture supplies. Yield prospects declined along the Ohio Valley and Atlantic Coast States due to above normal temperatures.


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