The size of the U.S. corn, cotton and soybean crops declined from last month, while peanut and rice crops got bigger, according to USDA’s Sept. 12 Crop Production report. Meanwhile drought continues to hurt yield potential for Midwest soybeans, while corn yields have fallen to the lowest level in 17 years. USDA also raised its estimate of world cotton ending stocks by 2 million bales and projected record soybean yields for Mississippi and Arkansas.

Cotton

Cotton production is forecast at 17.1 million bales, down 3 percent from last month, but up 10 percent from last year. Yield is expected to average 786 pounds per harvested acre, down 4 pounds from last year. Upland cotton production is forecast at 16.5 million bales, up 12 percent from 2011. Pima cotton production, forecast at 657,000 bales, is down 23 percent from last year.

According to USDA, estimated cotton yields declined from last month in four U.S. states, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. Estimated yield was higher than last month in 10 states including Florida, which reported an increase of 194 pounds, from 857 pounds to 1,051 pounds.

According to USDA’s Sept. 12 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, domestic cotton mill use is unchanged from last month, but exports are slightly lower due to lower U.S. production and a reduction in total world imports. Ending stocks are estimated at 5.3 million bales, equivalent to 35 percent of total use.

USDA increased the estimate of world cotton ending stocks by nearly 2 million bales and are now projected at 76.5 million bales. Projected world stocks include 35.5 million bales for China.

Corn

Corn production is forecast at 10.7 billion bushels, down less than 1 percent from the August forecast and down 13 percent from 2011. This represents the lowest production in the United States since 2006.

Lowest yield since 1995

Based on conditions as of Sept. 1, yields are expected to average 122.8 bushels per acre, down 0.6 bushel from the August forecast and 24.4 bushels below the 2011 average. If realized, this will be the lowest average yield since 1995.

Corn ending stocks for 2012-13 are projected 83 million bushels higher at 733 million.

Soybeans

Soybean production is forecast at 2.63 billion bushels, down 2 percent from August and down 14 percent from last year. Based on Sept. 1 conditions, yields are expected to average 35.3 bushels per acre, down 0.8 bushel from last month and down 6.2 bushels from last year.

Compared with last month, yield forecasts are lower or unchanged across the Great Plains and most of the Corn Belt as lingering drought conditions continued to hamper yield expectations.

It’s a different story elsewhere, however, as USDA projects record soybean yields for Mississippi, 41 bushels, Arkansas, 39 bushels and North Carolina, 34 bushels.

Soybean ending stocks are projected at 130 million bushels, down 15 million from last month.

Peanuts

Peanut production is forecast at 5.92 billion pounds, up 12 percent from August and up 63 percent from last year. Average yield for the United States is forecast at a record high 3,714 pounds per acre, up 152 pounds from August and up 401 pounds from last year.

Planted area is estimated at a record high in South Carolina. If realized, harvested area will be a record high in South Carolina, Florida, and Mississippi. Record high yields are expected in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Texas. The largest yield increases from last year are expected in Oklahoma and Texas, where drought conditions last year significantly reduced crop potential. Harvest was underway by the end of August in Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi.

erobinson@farmpress.com