Corn production is forecast at 12.8 billion bushels, up 5% from last year but 2% lower than 2007. Based on conditions as of Aug. 1, yields are expected to average 159.5 bu./acre, up 5.6 bu. from last year. If realized, this will be the second highest yield on record, behind 2004, and production will be the second largest, behind 2007.
Forecasted yields are higher than last year across the central Great Plains and western Corn Belt where mild temperatures and adequate soil moisture supplies provided favorable growing conditions. Expected yields were also higher across much of the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys and Atlantic Coast where beneficial moisture this year contrasted with exceptionally dry conditions last year.
Yield prospects are lower in the central Corn Belt where excessive spring moisture delayed planting and below normal temperatures slowed corn emergence and development. Growers expect to harvest 80.0 million acres for grain, down 100,000 acres from June but up 2% from last year.
Soybean production is forecast at a record high 3.20 billion bushels, up 8% from last year. Based on Aug. 1 conditions, yields are expected to average 41.7 bu./acre, up 2.1 bu. from 2008. If realized, this will tie for the fourth highest yield on record.
With the exception of Illinois, yields are forecast higher or unchanged from last year across the Corn Belt and Great Plains. The largest increase in yield is expected in Ohio, up 11 bu. from 2008. In contrast, yield prospects are forecast lower than last year in Alabama, New York, North Carolina and South Carolina. Area for harvest in the U.S. is forecast at 76.8 million acres, up slightly from June and up 3% from 2008.