U.S. cotton producers are well on their way to producing the highest-yielding crop in history.

In USDA’s November 10 crop production report and world supply and demand estimates, projected U.S. cotton yields of 859 pounds per acre would surpass the previous record of 855 pounds set in 2004. Record yields were also projected for rice producers. Here’s more:

Cotton

U.S. cotton production is forecast at 18.9 million bales, up 4 percent from last month but down 13 percent from last year’s 21.6 million bales. Much of the increase is due to higher yields for Texas cotton producers. Projected average yields grew from 766 pounds to 826 pounds, which would be a record yield for the state, if realized.

American-Pima production is forecast at a record-high 811,500 bales, up 5 percent from last month and up 6 percent from last year.

U.S. cotton exports were reduced 500,000 bales to 16.2 million bales due to recent sluggish sales and shipments and lower imports by China. Ending stocks of 7.6 million bales are 19 percent above last month, creating a stocks-to-use ratio of 36.5 percent.

World cotton production was reduced nearly a million bales due to lower production in Pakistan, Sudan and Turkey.

Corn

U.S. corn production is forecast at a record 13.2 billion bushels, down 150 million bushels from last month. Based on conditions as of Nov. 1, yields are expected to average 153 bushels per acre, down 1.7 bushels from October, but 3.9 bushels above last year. If realized, this yield would be the second highest on record, behind 2004.

Projected U.S. corn ending stocks for 2007-08 were lowered 100 million bushels this month as lower production more than offset reduced feed and residual use.

Sorghum production was raised 13 million bushels, but higher projected exports more than offset the increase in supplies leaving ending stocks down 2 million bushels.

Soybeans

U.S. Soybean production is forecast at 2.594 billion bushels, down 4 million bushels from last month based on a lower projected soybean yield of 41.3 bushels per acre.

Based on Nov. 1 conditions, yields are expected to average 41.3 bushels per acre, down slightly from last month and down 1.4 bushels from last year. Soybean ending stocks were lowered 5 million bushels to 210 million bushels. The U.S. season-average soybean price for 2007-08 is projected at $8.50 to $9.50 per bushel, up 65 cents on both ends of the range.

Wheat

Projected U.S. wheat ending stocks for 2007-08 were raised 5 million bushels to 312 million bushels. Global wheat production for 2007-08 was projected 2.8 million tons higher this month. Australia wheat production was lowered by 500,000 tons as crop prospects continue to decline with drought persisting in key Southeastern growing areas.

World wheat consumption for 2007-08 was projected 1.3 million tons higher and world ending stocks were projected 2.8 million tons higher than last month. At 109.8 million tons, 2007-08 world ending stocks remain the lowest in 30 years.

e-mail: erobinson@farmpress.com