Corn production is forecast at 11.6 billion bushels, up 6% from last month and 15% above 2003. Based on conditions as of Oct. 1, the yield is expected to average 158.4 bu./acre, up 9 bu. from September and 16.2 bu. above 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 forecast at record high levels in all Corn Belt states, except Minnesota and Wisconsin, as weather conditions have been mostly favorable throughout the growing season.

Based on administrative information, acreage updates were made in several states and farmers now expect to harvest 73.3 million acres of corn for grain, down 66,000 acres from September but up 3% from 2003.

Soybean production is forecast at 3.11 billion bushels, up 10% from the September forecast and 27% above 2003. If realized, this would be the largest U.S. soybean crop on record. Based on conditions as of Oct. 1, yield is expected to average a record high 42 bu./acre, up 3.5 bu. from September.

Below-normal temperatures and adequate moisture during August and early September across most of the Corn Belt, Great Plains and Delta were beneficial to the crop during the final stages of development. Above-normal temperatures followed, during the rest of September, just in time for the beginning of the harvest season.

Based on administrative data, acreage updates were made in several states. Area planted is now estimated at 75.1 million acres, up 256,000 acres from the August estimate. Area for harvest is forecast at 74.0 million acres, up 335,000 from September. Revised 2003 soybean acreage, yield and production were published in the Sept. 30, 2004, Grain Stocks report.