It's almost certain now that the phenomenal Texas cotton crop of a year ago will not have an encore. According to USDA's August crop production report, Texas acreage has declined significantly in recent months, and average yields have been reduced by over 100 pounds per acre from last year.

USDA dropped its estimate of planted acreage in Texas to 3.4 million acres, a decline of 1.3 million acres from USDA's June assessment. Texas' share of total U.S. acreage has now declined from a little over 50 percent to 37 percent. Some of the decline was due to extensive losses to Hurricane Dolly in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

Expected yields declined from last year's surprising 843 pounds to 734 pounds.

U.S. cotton acreage is now estimated at 7.85 million acres, which is down from 9.25 million acres estimated in June. U.S. cotton production is now forecast at 13.8 million bales, down 28 percent from last year's 19.2 million bales.

U.S. cotton yield is expected to average 842 pounds per harvested acre, down 37 pounds from the record yield in 2007. Upland cotton production is forecast at 13.2 million bales, 28 percent below 2007.

Producers in the Southeast region are expecting increased yields from last year, while producers in Texas expect a lower yield than the record high received in 2007.

In the Mid-South, average yields are projected higher than last year for Arkansas, from 1,071 pounds to 1,113 pounds; Missouri, from 963 pounds to 985 pounds; and Tennessee, from 565 pounds to 765 pounds. Yields are projected lower for Louisiana, from 1,017 pounds to 909 pounds; and for Mississippi, from 966 pounds to 934 pounds.

American-Pima production is forecast at 521,800 bales, down 39 percent from last year. American-Pima harvested area is expected to total 193,900 acres, down 33 percent from 2007.

U.S. corn production is forecast at 12.3 billion bushels, down 6 percent from last year but 17 percent above 2006. Based on conditions as of Aug. 1, yields are expected to average 155 bushels per acre, up 3.9 bushels from last year. If realized, this yield would be the second highest on record, behind 2004.

Production would be the second highest on record, behind last year when producers harvested the most acres of corn for grain since 1933. Forecasted yields are higher than last year in the northern and eastern Corn Belt, Ohio and Tennessee Valleys, and northern half of the Atlantic Coast.

Expected yields across the southern half of the Great Plains and the Carolinas are below last year due to drought-like conditions throughout much of the growing season.

Growers expect to harvest 79.3 million acres for grain, up 350,000 acres from June but 8 percent lower than last year.

Soybeans

U.S. soybean production is forecast at 2.97 billion bushels, up 15 percent from last year but down 7 percent from the record high production of 2006. If realized, this will be the fourth largest production on record.

Based on Aug. 1 conditions, yields are expected to average 40.5 bushels per acre, down 0.7 bushel from 2007.

Compared with last year, yields are forecast lower in Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio, Texas, and across the northern and central Great Plains. Yield prospects are forecast higher than last year or unchanged across the remainder of the country, with the largest increases in Kentucky and Tennessee, up 13 and 12 bushels from last year, respectively.

Area for harvest in the United States is forecast at 73.3 million acres, up 2 percent from June and up 17 percent from 2007.

Wheat

Wheat production, at 2.46 billion bushels, is virtually unchanged from the July forecast but up 19 percent from 2007. Based on Aug. 1 conditions, U.S. yield is forecast at 43.5 bushels per acre, unchanged from July but 3 bushels above last year.

Winter wheat production is forecast at 1.87 billion bushels. This is up 1 percent from July and 24 percent above 2007.