USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service forecasted an 8 percent increase in U.S. corn production and a 19 percent increase in soybean production. The crop projections are based on growing conditions as of Aug. 1, 2004.

Corn production is pegged at 10.9 billion bushels, up 8 percent from last year. Yields are expected to average 148.9 bushels per acre, up 6.7 bushels from last year. If realized, both production and yields would be the largest on record. The previous record for both was set last year when production was estimated at 10.1 billion bushels and yield was 142.2 bushels per acre. Yields are higher in most of the Corn Belt and Great Plains States as weather conditions have been favorable during much of the growing season. Farmers expect to harvest 73.4 million acres of corn for grain, about the same as June, but up 3 percent from 2003.

Soybean production is forecast at 2.88 billion bushels, up 19 percent from 2003. If realized this would be the second largest U.S. soybean production on record. Based on Aug. 1 conditions, yields are expected to average 39.1 bushels per acre, up 5.7 bushels from 2003. Yields are higher than 2003 throughout the Great Plains and across the Corn Belt, but lower than the record high yields of 2003 in the Southeast. Area for harvest is unchanged from June, but up 2 percent from 2003 at 73.7 million acres.