WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) said Tuesday that the country is on track to have the second largest corn crop and fourth largest soybean crop in history.

Reports said that the higher-than-expected crops could lower prices for key grains.

In its first estimates this year based on actual field visits and farmer surveys, the USDA raised its estimate of corn production, saying almost perfect weather has helped Midwestern farmers recover from floods during the first part of summer.

The department forecast that farmers will harvest 12.3 billion bushels of corn, up more than 570 million bushels from last month's estimate of 11.7 billion.

The department lowered its estimate for soybeans to 2.97 billion bushels from 3 billion last month. But soybean prices are also expected to fall to $11.50 to $13 per bushel, down 50 cents from $12.00 to $13.50 last month, the department said.

The lower costs could lower pressure on many meat and poultry producers who have been struggling to maintain profits against rising grain costs. Immediately after the floods, corn prices were up to almost $8 per bushel.


Source: Associated Press