Kansas' corn production expected to fall 26% year-over-year to 430 million bushels in 2011, USDA says; sorghum output to fall 24% to 129.3 million bushels

WICHITA, Kansas , November 9, 2011 () – The size of the Kansas corn harvest is forecast to be even smaller than had been expected just a month ago, a new report shows.

The Kansas Agricultural Statistics Service forecast on Wednesday that corn production will be 430 million bushels, down 5 percent from October and down 26 percent from last year's harvest.

Kansas farmers were getting an average 100 bushels per acre from 4.3 million acres of corn. Scaled-down expectations reflect a downward adjustment of 5 bushels per acre of average yields compared with last month. Last year, farmers were cutting 125 bushels per acre.

The nation's corn production is forecast at 12.3 billion bushels, down 1 percent from the October forecast and down 1 percent from last year.

Forecasts for the size of other Kansas crops remained unchanged from last month:

-- Sorghum production at 129.3 million bushels, down 24 percent from last year. The state is anticipated to cut 2.35 million acres of sorghum, with an average yield of 55 bushels per acre.

-- The size of the soybean crop was pegged at 102.6 million bushels, down 26 percent from a year ago. Kansas is harvesting 3.8 million acres with average yields of 27 bushels per acre.

-- The cotton harvest was forecast at 83,000 bales, up 1 percent from last year. Growers are harvesting 67,000 acres of cotton with yields averaging 595 pounds per acre.

Also on Wednesday, the Agriculture Department released its separate November world agriculture supply and demand estimates lowering its forecast for U.S. wheat supplies by 9 million bushels based on updated production estimates. While available supplies of some types of wheat were adjusted, the projected use for wheat overall remained unchanged. Global wheat supplies were projected higher reflecting higher world production.

Kansas State University economist Dan O'Brien said Wednesday's forecast for U.S. wheat supplies of 828 million bushels -- down from 837 million bushels forecast last month -- was a "minor adjustment."

"Since no major adjustments were made, we are kind of steady as it goes," he said. "It is important no changes were made."

O'Brien said it was "instructive" to look at the commodity markets' overall reaction to the reports: corn prices were up a little bit, soybeans were down a little and wheat was down a little.

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