Washington — U.S. farmers could produce a record corn crop this year of 10.6 billion bushels, the Agriculture Department said Monday.
The department forecast production of 10.6 billion bushels, up 210 million bushels from last month and 521 million bushels from last year. Weather has been good for production of the nation's most abundant crop, the department said. The previous record, in 2003, was 10.1 billion bushels.
However, exports of the current crop are expected to drop 90 million bushels, the department said. It said Argentina had been giving the United States increased competition and some U.S. sales had been canceled.
Prices for the crop will range from $2.30 to $2.70 a bushel, a 25-cent drop from its forecast a month ago, the department said.
The department lowered its soybean harvest forecast by 25 million bushels from last month, to 2.9 billion bushels, based on a drop in the number of harvested acres and yield.
Soybean exports are projected at around 1 billion bushels, down about 15 million bushels from the last forecast, partly due to increased competition from South America and reduced imports by China, the crop report said.
The forecast price of soybeans was unchanged at $5.70 to $6.70 per bushel.
The crop report forecast overall wheat production at 2 billion bushels, down slightly from last month and down 277 million bushels from last year. Wheat prices were projected at $3.20 to $3.80 a bushel, down about a nickel from last month's estimate.