U.S. cotton production is now forecast at 21.3 million bales, according to USDA, up 3 percent from last month but down 11 percent from last year’s record high production. USDA also raised expected average yields to 798 pounds per acre, up 24 pounds from last month but down 33 pounds from last year.

According to the agency’s Nov. 9 crop production report, cotton production rose from last month in nine cotton producing states, Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

Harvested area is expected to total 12.8 million acres, unchanged from last month but down 7 percent from 2005. Growers in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, and Texas are expecting better yields due to the favorable weather conditions received in the later part of the growing season. In Arkansas, record high production is expected.

USDA’s estimate of corn production is 10.7 billion bushels, down 1 percent from October and 3 percent lower than 2005. Based on conditions as of Nov. 1, yields are expected to average 151.2 bushels per acre, down 2.3 bushels from October but 3.3 bushels higher than last year.

If realized, the yield would be the second largest on record, behind 2004. Yield forecasts are lower than last month across much of the western and central Corn Belt and Atlantic Coast as producers reported that actual harvest yields were not as good as expected earlier due to lower grain weight per ear.

Stalk quality and lodging problems were also reported in some areas. Producers in the northern Great Plains, Delta, and parts of the Southeast reported better than expected yields. Compared with last year, yields are higher in all Corn Belt states, except Iowa and Minnesota.

Soybean production is now forecast at 3.2 billion bushels, up slightly from October and 5 percent above 2005. If realized, this would be the largest U.S. soybean crop on record. Based on Nov. 1 conditions, yields are expected to average 43 bushels per acre, up 0.2 bushel from October and equal to last year’s record high yield.

Producers in the northern Great Lakes, Delaware, New York, North Carolina, and the Dakotas are realizing higher yields than expected last month, while yield prospects decreased slightly as harvest progressed in Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, and Pennsylvania. Area for harvest in the United States is forecast at 74.5 million acres, unchanged from last month but up 5 percent from 2005.

U.S. rice production is forecast at 193.3 million hundredweight.

e-mail: erobinson@farmpress.com