USDA lowered its production estimates and yield expectations from last month for corn, soybeans and cotton in its Nov. 9 Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates. Estimated rice yields were raised from last month, but overall production declined on a reduction in harvested acres.

Corn

Corn production is forecast at 12.3 billion bushels, down 1 percent from last month and 1 percent from 2010. If realized, this will be the fourth largest production total on record.

Based on conditions as of Nov. 1, yields are expected to average 146.7 bushels per acre, down 1.4 bushels from October and 6.1 bushels from 2010. If realized, this will be the lowest average yield since 2003.

Area harvested for grain is forecast at 83.9 million acres, unchanged from October.

USDA raised forecast feed and residual use by 50 million bushels and corn use for ethanol by 100 million bushels Exports were raised 100 million bushels mostly reflecting increased demand from China. Ending stocks for 2011-12 are projected 175 million bushels higher at 870 million bushels.

Soybeans

Soybean production is forecast at 3.05 billion bushels, down slightly from last month and down 9 percent from last year.

Based on Nov. 1 conditions, yields are expected to average 41.3 bushels per acre, down 0.2 bushel from last month and down 2.2 bushels from last year. If realized, the average yield will be the second lowest since 2003.

Area for harvest is forecast at 73.7 million acres, unchanged from October but down 4 percent from 2010.

Projected soybeans exports were reduced 25 million bushels, reflecting lower U.S. supplies and increased supplies in South America this fall. U.S. soybean ending stocks are projected at 175 million bushels, down 15 million from last month.