U.S. farmers are expected to produce a record-high soybean crop this year, according to the Crop Production report issued by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. Up 4 percent from 2017, soybean production is forecast at record high 4.59 billion bushels, while corn growers are expected to decrease their production slightly from last year, forecast at 14.6 billion bushels.
Down 1 percent from last year, area for soybean harvest is forecast at 88.9 million acres with planted area for the nation estimated at 89.6 million acres, unchanged from the June estimate. Soybean yields are expected to average 51.6 bushels per acre, up 2.5 bushels from last year. Record soybean yields are expected in Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
Average corn yield is forecast at 178.4 bushels per acre, up 1.8 bushels from last year. If realized, this will be the highest yield on record for the United States. NASS forecasts record-high yields in Alabama, Illinois, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Tennessee. Acres planted to corn, at 89.1 million, remain unchanged from NASS’ June estimate but down 1 percent from 2017. As of July 29, 72 percent of this year’s corn crop was reported in good or excellent condition, 11 percentage points above the same time last year.
Wheat production is forecast at 1.88 billion bushels, up 8 percent from 2017. Growers are expected to produce 1.19 billion bushels of winter wheat this year, down 6 percent from last year. Durum wheat production is forecast at 73.4 million bushels, up 34 percent from last year. All other spring wheat production is forecast at 614 million bushels, up 48 percent from 2017. Based on August 1 conditions, the U.S. all wheat yield is forecast at 47.4 bushels per acre, up 1.1 bushels from last year.
This report also included the first production forecast for U.S. cotton. NASS forecasts all cotton production at 19.2 million 480-pound bales, down 8 percent from last year. Yield is expected to average 911 pounds per harvested acre, up 6 pounds from last year.
NASS interviewed approximately 21,600 producers across the country in preparation for this report. The agency also conducted field and lab measurements on corn, soybeans, wheat and cotton in the major producing states, which usually account for about 75 percent of the U.S. production. NASS is also gearing up to conduct its September Agricultural Survey, which will focus on wheat, barley, oats and rye growers. That survey will take place during the first two weeks of September.
The Crop Production report is published monthly and is available online at www.nass.usda.gov.