Corn for grain production in 2008 is estimated at 12.1 billion bushels, up 1 percent from the November forecast but 7 percent below last year's record high. The average U.S. grain yield is estimated at 153.9 bushels per acre, up 0.1 bushel from the November forecast and 3.2 bushels above 2007. The 2008 yield is the second highest on record, behind 2004, and production is second largest, behind last year.

Sorghum grain production in 2008 is estimated at 472 million bushels, up 2 percent from the November forecast but 5 percent below 2007. Planted area is estimated at 8.28 million acres, up 7 percent from last year, and area harvested for grain, at 7.27 million acres, is up 7 percent from 2007. Average grain yield, at 65.0 bushels per acre, is up 2.0 bushels from the previous forecast but down 8.2 bushels from last year.

Rice production in 2008 is estimated at 204 million cwt, up slightly from the previous forecast and up 3 percent from 2007. Planted area is estimated at 3.00 million acres, up 8 percent from 2007. Area for harvest, at 2.98 million acres, is up 2 percent from the previous forecast and up 8 percent from the previous crop year. The average yield for all U.S. rice is estimated at 6,846 pounds per acre, down 113 pounds from the previous forecast and 373 pounds below the 2007 record yield of 7,219 pounds per acre.

Soybean production in 2008 totaled 2.96 billion bushels, up 1 percent from the November forecast and up 11 percent from 2007. U.S. production is the fourth largest on record. The average yield per acre is estimated at 39.6 bushels, 0.3 bushel above the November forecast but 2.1 bushels below last year's yield. Harvested area is up 16 percent from 2007, to a record 74.6 million acres.

All cotton production is estimated at 13.0 million 480-pound bales, down 4 percent from last month and down 32 percent from 2007. The U.S. yield is estimated at 810 pounds per acre, down 33 pounds from the December forecast and down 69 pounds from last year's record high. Harvested area, at 7.73 million acres, is down less than 1 percent from December and down 26 percent from last year. Upland cotton producers in Texas abandoned 1.60 million acres of the 5.00 million acres planted.

This report was approved Jan. 12, 2009.



SOURCE: USDA.