USDA Reports Bring Variety of Changes

USDA lowers corn production forecast, raises soybean, wheat unchanged.

USDA released its crop production forecasts Thursday with varied results.

The new estimate for U.S. corn production is down 160 million bushels, a steeper drop than expected, from the October prediction of 10.905 bushels to 10.745 billion bushels.

USDA also lowered the national average yield estimate for corn by 2.3 bushels per acre, citing declines in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Nebraska.

Meanwhile, USDA raised the forecast for the soybean crop to a record 3.204 billion bushels, with U.S. yields higher than expected. The new USDA estimate for average soybean yield is 43 bushels per acre, compared to October's estimate of 42.8 bushels.

The supply and demand report predicts higher prices for soybeans in 2006-07.

Despite expectations that USDA would also raise its wheat production forecast, it did not change its estimate of 418 million bushels.

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