USDA is projecting record production the U.S. corn and soybean crops, with several states reporting record highs for yield. In its Aug. 12 Crop Production report, USDA also projected a U.S. cotton crop of 18.5 million bales, based on a record crop developing in Texas.
Corn production  is forecast at a record high 13.4 billion bushels, up 2 percent from the previous record set in 2009. Based on conditions as of Aug. 1, yields are expected to average a record high 165 bushels per acre, up a fraction of a bushel from last year’s record of 164.7.
Forecasted yields are higher than last year across the upper Mississippi Valley and upper Great Lakes region where moderate temperatures and adequate soil moisture provided favorable growing conditions. Expected yields were also higher across the southern Great Plains and lower Mississippi Valley. Yield prospects are lower in both the Atlantic Coast region and Tennessee Valley due to above normal temperatures and dry conditions.
Soybean production is forecast at a record high 3.43 billion bushels, up 2 percent from last year. Based on Aug. 1 conditions, yields are expected to average 44 bushels per acre, unchanged from last year's record high yield. Compared with last year, yields are forecast higher across the northern tier states, with increases of 4 bushels or more in Minnesota, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
The largest increase in yield from 2009 is expected in Texas, where the yield is forecast to be up 9 bushels from last year. Yields are forecast down or unchanged across the central part of the soybean growing region, extending from the central Great Plains to the East Coast and down into the Southeast.
The Mid-Atlantic region is expecting the largest declines from last year, as Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia are all expecting yields to be down more than 10 bushels from 2009 due to very hot and dry weather this summer. If realized, the forecasted yield in New York will be a record high, and the forecasted yield in Arkansas will tie the previous record high.
Area for harvest in the United States is forecast at 78 million acres, unchanged from June but up 2 percent from 2009.
Cotton production  is forecast at 18.5 million bales, up 52 percent from last year's 12.2 million bales. Yield is expected to average 837 pounds per harvested acre, up 60 pounds from last year. Upland cotton production is forecast at 18 million bales, 53 percent above 2009. Texas producers are expecting a record high production of 8.8 million bales, a 90 percent increase from last year.
Pima production is forecast at 497,800 bales, up 25 percent from last year. Producers expect to harvest 10.6 million acres of cotton.
Peanut production  is estimated at 4.04 billion pounds, a 9 percent increase over last season. Yields are projected to average 3,204 pounds per acre on 1.26 million acres.
Wheat production, at 2.26 billion bushels, is up 2 percent from the July forecast and up 2 percent from 2009. Winter wheat production is forecast at 1.52 billion bushels, up 1 percent from last month and up slightly from 2009.
U.S. rice production is projected 245.88 million hundredweight, an 11 percent increase over last season. Average yields are projected at 7,039 pounds per acre. Yields are projected higher than last year for all the Mid-South states, while lower yields are projected for Texas and California.
e-mail: [email protected]