The latest forecast from USDA puts the 2007 U.S. corn crop at 13.2 billion bushels, down 1 percent from last month's forecast. The group estimates the soybean crop at 2.59 billion bushels, down slightly from the October forecast.
In reports released Friday, the agency also increased its corn price forecast to a range of $3.20 to $3.80 per bushel from last month's forecast range of $2.90 to $3.50 for the marketing year that began Sept. 1, 2007. It also raised its average soybean price forecast to a range of $8.50 to $9.50 per bushel from last month's forecast range of $7.85 to $8.85 for the marketing year.
Average soybean meal prices were forecast to range from $250 to $265 per short ton, up from a range of $220 to $235 per short ton forecast in October. USDA left unchanged its forecast of corn use for ethanol at 3.2 billion bushels for the marketing year.