According to USDA, Texas cotton growers will harvest only 4.2 million of the 6.4 million acres of cotton they planted this year, indicating an abandonment of around 35 percent. USDA still expects a total U.S. crop of 20.4 million bales.

U.S. growers are also expected to produce smaller crops for rice, corn and soybeans this year, due to a number of environmental stresses and/or fewer acres.

Cotton

USDA's first survey-based cotton production estimate of 20.4 million bales is based on an average yield projection of 765 pounds, down 66 pounds from 2005.

Due to severe drought, forecast harvested acres for Texas is now 4.2 million acres, down 2.2 million acres from the 6.4 million planted acres USDA estimated in June.

Expected average yield for Texas has declined from 723 pounds to 583 pounds, while production is forecast to slip from last year's record 8.44 million bales to 5.1 million bales.

Rain has been plentiful in many areas of the northern Mid-South, however. Missouri and Tennessee producers are expecting record high production at 1.03 million and 1.25 million bales, respectively.

American-Pima production is forecast at a record high 893,000 bales, up 42 percent from last year. Producers expect to harvest 12.8 million acres of all cotton and 12.5 million acres of upland cotton, down 7 percent and 8 percent, respectively. American-Pima harvested area is expected to total a record high 333,000 acres, up 24 percent from 2005.

Estimated exports were lowered 2 percent due to lower supplies and increased foreign competition. Ending stocks were reduced to 4.7 million bales, down 200,000 bales from last month.

World cotton ending stocks were raised nearly 2 percent from last month. India's production is up 1 million bales from last month, as favorable monsoon rains are expected to boost both area and yield. Higher exports are expected from India and Greece.

The U.S. estimate for 2005-06 included record exports of 17.55 million bales, an increase of 550,000 bales from last month due to larger than anticipated exports in the final weeks of the marketing year.

Soybeans

Soybean yield prospects are lower due to dry weather in the western Corn Belt and Plains. Soybean yields are forecast at 39.6 bushels per acre, 1.1 bushels below last month's trend yield projection, and 3.7 bushels below last year's record yield.

The first survey-based forecast of U.S. soybean production is 2.93 billion bushels, 82 million bushels below the July forecast and 158 million bushels below last year's crop.

Yields are projected lower than 2005 throughout the Great Plains, the western Corn Belt, and the Gulf Coast States, while yields are expected to remain unchanged or increase in the Ohio Valley, Arkansas, Missouri, and the Atlantic Coast States. Area for harvest, at 73.9 million acres, remains unchanged from June but is up 4 percent from 2005.

Despite lower forecast production, exports and crush are unchanged.

Lower production and reduced carry-in leave ending stocks at 450 million bushels, down 110 million from last month. Soybean oil ending stocks were reduced this month, reflecting increased domestic soybean oil disappearance. Recently released Census Bureau data indicate biodiesel production continues to expand rapidly.

The U.S. season-average soybean price for 2006-07 is projected at $5 to $6 per bushel, unchanged from last month. The soybean meal price is projected at $155 to $185 per short ton, also unchanged. Soybean oil prices are projected higher this month at 23 to 27 cents per pound.

Rice

USDA's first survey-based forecast of the 2006-07 U.S. rice crop is 197.2 million hundredweight, down almost 3 million hundredweight from last month's projection, and down 26 million hundredweight from 2005-06.

Average yield is forecast at 6,813 pounds per acre, down 95 pounds per acre from last month.

Long-grain production is forecast at 147.9 million hundredweight, down 6.1 million hundredweight from last month, while combined medium- and short-grain production is forecast at 49.3 million hundredweight, 3.3 million hundredweight above last month.

U.S. 2006-07 exports are projected at 97 million hundredweight, down 3 million hundredweight from last month. Domestic and residual use is nearly unchanged from a month ago.

Ending stocks are projected at 22.7 million hundredweight, down slightly from last month.

The season average farm price is projected at $9.25 to $9.75, up 10 cents per hundredweight on each end from last month.

World 2006-07 rice production is projected at a record 417.8 million tons, 500,000 tons below last month. The decline in the world rice crop is due primarily to reduced production in Vietnam, North Korea, and the United States, which is partially offset by an increase for Thailand. World 2006-07 ending stocks are projected at 79 million tons, nearly the same as last month.

Corn

USDA's first survey-based forecast for 2006 corn production is 10.98 billion bushels, up 236 million from last month's projection.

Based on conditions as of Aug. 1, yields are expected to average 152.2 bushels per acre, up 4.3 bushels from last year. If realized, this yield would be the second largest and production would be the third largest on record.

The largest yield increase from last year is in Illinois where farmers expect to average 172 bushels per acre, 29 bushels above last year's drought-reduced yield.

The largest yield decreases are expected in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and North Dakota.