USDA is projecting a 21.3 million bale U.S. cotton crop for 2005, 1.5 million bales higher than last month's forecast, but still 2 million bales under last year's record crop. In its Aug. 12 report, USDA also forecast smaller U.S. corn and soybean production.

All cotton production is forecast at 21.3 million bales, down 8 percent from last year's record high 23.3 million bales. Yield is expected to average 748 pounds per harvested acre, down 107 pounds from 2004. Upland cotton production is forecast at 20.6 million 480-pound bales, 9 percent below 2004.

Pima production is forecast at 725,000 bales, down 3 percent from last year. Producers expect to harvest 13.7 million acres of cotton including 13.4 million acres of upland cotton, both 5 percent above last year. Pima harvested area is expected to total 261,000 acres, 13,000 more than 2004.

Domestic mill use for cotton is unchanged from last month, but exports were raised 500,000 bales. Ending stocks are forecast 4.5 percent higher than last month.

U.S. soybean production is forecast at 2.79 billion bushels, down from last month's 2.89 billion bushels and down 11 percent from last year. Based on Aug. 1 conditions, yields are expected to average 38.7 bushels per acre, down 3.8 bushels from the record high U.S. yield set last year.

Yields are lower than 2004 across most of the country except in Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Carolina and Wisconsin. Area for harvest, at 72.2 million acres, has declined slightly from June and is down 2 percent from 2004.

U.S. ending stocks for soybean were estimated at a low 180 million bushels, down from July's estimate of 210 million bushels.

Corn production is forecast at 10.35 billion bushels, down from last month's 10.78 billion bushels and down from last year's 11.8 billion bushels. Based on conditions as of Aug. 1, yields are expected to average 139.2 bushels per acre, down 21.2 bushels from the record high last year.

With the exception of Michigan, forecast yields are lower in all of the Corn Belt as warm, dry weather through the growing season depleted soil moisture levels and stressed the crop. Yields are forecast lower in 29 of the 33 published corn states. The largest projected decreases occurred in Missouri, Illinois, and Kansas. Farmers expect to harvest 74.4 million acres of corn for grain, unchanged from June but up 1 percent from 2004.

U.S. ending stocks for corn were estimated at 1.9 billion bushels, down from July's estimate of 2.24 billion bushels.

USDA's first survey-based forecast of the 2005-06 U.S. rice crop is 226.8 million hundredweight, up 5.8 million hundredweight from last month, but down 4.1 million hundredweight from the record crop in 2004-05. Average yield is forecast at 6,897 pounds per acre, up 176 pounds per acre from last month, but down just 45 pounds per acre from last year's record.

Long-grain rice production is forecast at a record 173 million hundredweight, up 3.5 million hundredweight from last month, while combined medium- and short-grain production is forecast at 53.8 million hundredweight, 2.3 million hundredweight above last month.

All wheat production, at 2.17 billion bushels, is down 2 percent from the July forecast but up slightly from 2004. Based on Aug. 1 conditions, U.S. yield is forecast at 43 bushels per acre, down 0.8 bushel from last month.