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U.S. corn down 4.3% in 2011, firm says

09/07/2011 @ 9:28am

Cropcast Ag Services, a well-known agricultural weather firm, projected U.S. farmers will harvest 4.3% less corn than last year due to poor weather.

The Maryland-based firm, a division of EarthSat Weather Services, pegged the corn harvest at 11.913 billion bushels, down from 12.447 billion last year. It estimated the average yield at 145.2 bushels an acre, down from 152.8 bushels an acre last year.

The forecasts are well below the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest projections for this year's crop and estimates from other private forecasters. The government, in a monthly report Aug. 11, pegged the crop at 12.914 billion bushels, with an average yield of 153 bushels an acre.

By comparison, brokerage firm Allendale on Tuesday pegged the corn harvest at 12.466 billion bushels, with an average yield of 147.7 bushels an acre. INTL FCStone last week projected farmers will harvest 12.35 billion bushels of corn, with an average yield of 146.3 bushels an acre.

Cropcast cut its output forecast because it expects many acres planted with corn will not be harvested due to flooding around the Mississippi and Missouri rivers and a severe drought in Texas, said Don Keeney, senior agricultural meteorologist for Cropcast. The firm projected farmers will harvest 82.06 million acres of corn, while the USDA last estimated 84.4 million acres will be harvested.

The firm did a satellite analysis earlier this year and "took a lot of acreage out of a lot of states due to flooding," Keeney said. The number of bushels produced per acre was hurt by hot, dry weather this summer.

"Our acreage is lower than most," Keeney said.

Cropcast pegged the U.S. soybean harvest at 2.924 billion bushels, with an average yield of 40.3 bushels an acre. That is down from last year's harvest of 3.329 billion bushels, with an average yield of 43.5 bushels an acre. The USDA last month pegged this year's soybean harvest at 3.056 billion bushels, with an average yield of 41.4 bushels an acre.

The USDA is slated to update its harvest estimates Monday.

--By Tom Polansek, Dow Jones Newswires; 312-341-5780, tom.polansek@dowjones.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
September 07, 2011 09:44 ET (13:44 GMT)
DJ Cropcast Projects US Corn Output Will Drop 4.3% From 2010->copyright

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