The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has issued its annual report, giving final numbers for the 2010 crop.

According to the report, soybean production totaled 3.33 billion bushels, down 1 percent from the November forecast and down 1 percent from 2009. U.S. production is the second largest on record.

The average yield for the U.S. is estimated at 43.5 bushels per acre, 0.4 bushel below the November forecast and 0.5 bushel below last year’s record high yield.  Harvested area is up slightly from 2009 to a record 76.6 million bushels.

For Iowa, soybean production is estimated at 496 million bushels. Iowa soybean yield in 2010 averaged 51 bushels per acre, the same as 2009.

USDA corn production is estimated at 12.4 billion bushels, decrease of 1 percent from the November forecast and 5 percent below last year’s record production of 13.1 billion bushels.

U.S. average yield is estimated 152.8 bushels per acre, down 1.5 bushels from the November forecast and 11.9 bushels below the record high yield of 164.7 bushels per acre set in 2009.

Area harvested for grain is estimated at 81.4 million acres, up slightly from the November estimate and up 2 percent from 2009.

Wisconsin and Minnesota set record corn yields in 2010, but the rest of the Corn Belt saw decreased production.

For Iowa, total corn production is estimated at 2.15 billion bushels, with an average yield of 165 bushels per acre, down from 182 bushels in 2009.

In its World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) Report, the USDA also dropped U.S. corn and soybean ending stocks.

The USDA estimates corn ending stocks at 745 million bushels, down from the previous USDA estimate of 832 million bushels. U.S. soybean ending stocks are pegged at 140 million bushels, down from the USDA’s previous estimate of 165 million bushels.

Despite less than ideal planting and growing conditions in 2010, U.S. Corn growers harvested the third largest corn crop on record, the Iowa Corn Growers Assn. reported.

“Corn growers are resilient and have an amazing ability to overcome weather challenges to produce the third largest corn crop on record,” said Kevin Rempp a corn farmer from Montezuma and Treasurer of the Iowa Corn Promotion Board.  “Even though this corn crop is below last year’s, corn farmers across the U.S. continue to produce more with less.  In the past 10 years production has risen 20 percent while using 37 percent less land, according to facts from the USDA.”
The 2010 growing season in Iowa was marked by more than enough moisture and a wide range of temperatures.  In spite of these challenges, Iowa corn farmers were able to produce 2.153 billion bushels with an average yield of 165 bushels per acre.
“Every year Iowa has the potential to produce more corn than any other area in the world,” said Rempp.  “However, because corn production is dependent on weather, the reduction in numbers for Iowa is not entirely unexpected.”
Worldwide, the USDA cut the Argentine corn production estimate, due to a continued drought weather pattern.

Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) Director of Market Development Grant Kimberley commented on the report, “It looks like yields are down slightly from the November report and from 2009, but still historically large. Again the story is strong worldwide demand for feed grains and oilseeds as the rest of the world adds more meat in their diets.

“We need to keep an eye on China because they will continue to be a key driver of soybean demand, and we’ll need to see an increase in acres planted to both corn and soybeans next year, and that should create opportunities for farmers. Another thing to keep an eye on is weather conditions in South America, especially Argentina, which remains dryer than normal.”