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USDA Forecasts Bigger-Than-Expected U.S. Corn Crop; Futures Sink

CHICAGO, Aug. 12, (Reuters) - The U.S. corn harvest will be bigger than previously forecast, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Monday, as the government issued a surprise boost to its yield estimate despite ongoing concerns in the country about a wet spring and dry summer limiting production.

For the 2019/20 crop year, the corn harvest will total 13.901 billion bushels, based on an average yield of 169.5 bushels per acre, the USDA predicted in its monthly supply and demand report.

Corn futures briefly fell their daily trading limit as analysts had been expecting the government to lower its estimate of corn production and yield.

Soybean production was pegged at 3.680 billion bushels, based on an average yield of 48.5 bushels per acre.

In July, USDA projected a corn harvest of 13.875 billion bushels and an average yield of 166 bushels per acre. Soybean harvest was estimated at 3.845 billion bushels and yields were projected at 48.5 bushels per acre in July. The August forecast is based largely on farmer surveys and satellite imagery, while earlier estimates came from statistical models. (Reporting by Mark Weinraub Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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