In its November crop report, the agency forecast soybean production at a record 2.92 billion bushels, up 1 percent from Oct. 1, and 6 percent above 2000. Based on Nov. 1 conditions, yields are expected to average 39.4 bushels per acre, up 0.2 bushel from last month and 1.3 bushels above 2000. Acreage for harvest is estimated at a record 74.1 million acres, unchanged from last month but up 2 percent from 2000.

USDA projects 2001 rice production at a record 209.7 million cwt, up 1.5 million cwt from last month and 18.8 million cwt above last year. U.S. average yield is estimated at a record 6,374 pounds per acre, 46 pounds above last month and 93 pounds above last year.

Cotton production was forecast at 20.2 million bales, up 1 percent from last month and up 17 percent from 2000. Yield is expected to average 685 pounds per harvested acre, up 4 pounds from last month. Lower production forecasts in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas were more than offset by increased production forecasts in California, Georgia, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina and Tennessee.

Production levels in Louisiana and Mississippi have been adversely affected by extremely wet conditions, resulting in above average harvest loss. U.S. harvested acreage is 14.1 million acres.

Corn production was forecast at 9.55 billion bushels, up 1 percent from last month but down 4 percent from 2000. Based on conditions as of Nov. 1, yields are expected to average 138 bushels per acre, up 1.7 bushels from October. If realized, this would be the fourth largest production and second highest yield on record.

Supply and demand

Projected U.S. ending stocks of corn are were raised 116 million bushels from last month because of higher forecast production and unchanged use. Also global coarse grain supply, use, and ending stocks projections are up from last month. On the other hand, prospective Argentine corn production is down 1.5 million tons from last month because prolonged wet conditions will keep producers from planting as much area as expected earlier.

U.S. soybean stocks were increased to 355 million bushels, up 10 million bushels from last month as increased production was only partially offset by higher use.

U.S. rice ending stocks were projected at 42.2 million cwt, up 1.6 million cwt from last month and 13.7 million cwt above 2000/01 and the largest stocks since 1986/87.

USDA reduced domestic mill use in cotton 2.5 percent to 8.1 million bales, as the slowdown in the economy is likely to further delay a recovery in retail demand. Exports are now forecast at 9.4 million bales, equal to the post-World War II record set in 1994/95; season-to-date export commitments and shipments are the highest since export sales reporting began in the mid-1970s.

e-mail: erobinson@primediabusiness.com.