USDA forecasts record corn, soybean harvests
A new report from the USDA is forecasting that farmers will bring in the largest ever harvest of corn and soybeans, reports the Associated Press. Corn farmers are expected to harvest nearly 14.4 billion bushels of corn, up from last year's 13.9 billion bushel record. The yield of 172 bushels per acre is significantly higher than the previous record set in 2009 of 165 bushels per acre.
Record yields will be set in 18 states, the USDA said, and 10 states including Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska, the top three producers, have the highest number of ears per corn stalk ever.
The soybean harvest estimate also moved upward to a record of 3.9 billion bushels. The previous record was 3.4 billion bushels in 2009. The per-acre yield is now estimated at record 46.6 bushels per acre, beating the 2009 record of 44 bushels per acre.
The record harvests are due to ideal growing conditions, including adequate rain and cool temperatures. It is expected that the subsequent lower costs of grains could help contribute to lower prices for beef, pork, poultry and milk.
Despite the strong forecast, concerns have grown in recent days that early cold weather is creeping into the upper Midwest too soon as some crops are maturing later this year because a wet spring delayed planting in northern states.