USDA lowered its estimates for 2011 cotton production and projected slightly larger crops for corn and soybeans in its Jan. 12 Crop Production report.

USDA estimates U.S. cotton production at 15.67 million bales, down 1 percent from last month and down 13 percent from 2010. Yield is estimated at 772 pounds per acre, up 1 pound from last month’s forecast, but down 40 pounds from last year. Harvested area, at 9.75 million acres, is down 1 percent from December and down 9 percent from last year.

Corn for grain production is estimated at 12.4 billion bushels, up slightly from last month but 1 percent below 2010. The average yield for 2011 is estimated at 147.2 bushels per acre, up half a bushel from the previous forecast but 5.6 bushels below the 2010 yield of 152.8 bushels.

Area harvested for grain is estimated at 84 million acres, up slightly from the previous forecast and up 3 percent from 2010. Average grain yield, at 54.6 bushels per acre, is down 0.9 bushel from the previous forecast and down 17.2 bushels from last year.

Soybean production in 2011 totaled 3.06 billion bushels, up slightly from the previous forecast but down 8 percent from 2010.

U.S. production is the sixth largest on record. The average yield per acre is estimated at 41.5 bushels, 0.2 bushel above the previous forecast but 2 bushels below last year's yield. Harvested area is down 4 percent from 2010 to 73.6 million acres.

Sorghum grain production in 2011 is estimated at 214 million bushels, down 38 percent from 2010. Planted area is estimated at 5.48 million acres, up 1 percent from last year. Area harvested for grain, at 3.93 million acres, is down 18 percent from 2010.