The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) final crop production report for 2010 released today pegs corn yield estimates lower by 1.5 bushels per acre to 152.8 bushels per acre.

That lower figure is still the fourth-largest in history, and the reduction in yield was offset by the addition of 100,000 harvested acres.

The final corn crop for 2010 was estimated by USDA at 12.45 billion bushels, the third-largest crop in history.

Ending corn stocks are projected at 745 million bushels, down 963 million bushels from last year. The stocks-to-use ratio is projected at 5.5%, the lowest ratio since 1995-96.

Corn storage as of Dec. 1, 2010 was estimated at 10.0 billion bushels, down 8% from a year ago.

Final estimates for the 2010 soybean crop also came in lower than previous forecasts. Harvest totaled 3.33 billion bushels, down 1% from the Nov. 1 forecast and down 1% from 2009, but still was the second-largest soybean crop on record. The average yield for soybeans came in at 43.5 bushels per acre, 0.4 bushels below the November forecast, and 0.5 bushels below last year’s record high. Total acres harvested were slightly below the previous forecast.

Soybeans in storage on Dec. 1, 2010 totaled 2.28 billion bushels, down 3% from Dec. 1, 2009.

The lower production and crop stocks, combined with higher use, caused the World Ag Supply and Demand to raise projected average prices received by U.S. corn farmers by 10 cents/bushel on both ends of the range to $4.90-$5.70/bushel, based on strengthening cash and futures prices.

For soybeans, average price range for 2011 was projected at $11.20-$12.20, up 50 cents, and soybean meal price was projected at $320-360 per ton, up $10 on both ends of the range.