Corn and soybean yield projections decreased Wednesday (Sept. 12) as the nation's Corn Belt continues to suffer through the worst drought since at least 1956.

According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture Crop Production report, the nation's corn crop could be just 10.7 billion bushels, down less than 1 percent from the Aug. 10 report and 13 percent from 2011. Those numbers represent the smallest corn crop since 2006.

While the corn yield projections declined, Purdue Extension agricultural economist Chris Hurt said they didn't drop as much as expected compared with the August report.

"The surprise was on the corn market. Corn yields were not dropped very much — about six-tenths of a bushel per acre," Hurt said. "What we saw is that in the primary Midwest, especially Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska, the yields all came down some. But in the southern tier of states, we actually saw an increase in yields, so we kind of had an offset."

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Soybean production was forecast at 2.63 billion bushels, down 2 percent since August and 14 percent from 2011. The projections are slightly less than what Hurt said markets anticipated.

Indiana's corn and soybean yield projections held steady from August to September. The USDA anticipated 605 million bushels of corn, down 28 percent from 2011. Indiana soybeans were projected at 184.6 million bushels, down 22 percent from 2011.