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.

Cotton, rice and peanuts

Cotton

Cotton production is forecast at 16.3 million bales, down 2 percent from last month and down 10 percent from last year.

Yield is expected to average 794 pounds per acre, down 18 pounds from last year.

Upland cotton production is forecast at 15.6 million bales, down 12 percent from 2010. American Pima production, forecast at 737,200 bales, was carried forward from last month.

Average yields declined from the previous month in Virginia, Texas, North Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida and California, and increased only in South Carolina.

Forecast cotton exports were lowered 1 million bales to 12 million bales due to reduced U.S. supplies and weaker foreign demand. Ending stocks were raised to 3 million bales. The stocks-to-use ratio of 19 percent is still relatively tight.

The average price received by producers is now projected at 90 cents to $1.10 per pound.

Rice

Forecast U.S. rice production for 2011-12 was lowered 6 percent to 187 million hundredweight due to a reduction in acreage.

Harvested area for 2011-12 was lowered 185,000 acres to 2.65 million acres.

Estimated rice yields were raised slightly from last month to 7,059 pounds per acre. The crop size would be the lowest since 1997-98.

Ending stocks for 2010-11 were lowered 6 million hundredweight while ending stocks for 2011-12 are now projected at 29.6 million hundredweight, down 12.5 million, or 30 percent from a month ago, and 21.0 million, or 42 percent below 2010-11.

Global rice production is projected at a record 456.3 million tons, down fractionally as the drop in the U.S. crop was nearly offset by an increase for Egypt.

Peanuts

Forecast peanut production is 3.648 billion pounds, compared to 4.15 billion pounds in 2010.

Forecast yields rose slightly from last month, from 3,256 pounds per acre to 3,275 pounds per acre. Yields increased from last month for Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina and Virginia.