In its forecast of September crop production progress, released this week, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) reported corn production down and soybean production up.

Corn production is forecast at 10.7 billion bushels, down slightly from the September forecast and down 13% from 2011. NASS says this represents the lowest production in the United States since 2006.

Crop conditions on Oct. 1 project corn yields to average 122.0 bushels per acre, down 0.8 bushels from the September forecast and 25.2 bushels below the 2011 average.

“If realized, this will be the lowest average yield since 1995,” NASS reported. Area harvested for grain is forecast at 87.7 million acres, up less than 1% from the September forecast and up 4% from 2011.

Soybean production is forecast at 2.86 billion bushels. That’s up 9% from September but down 8% from last year. October 1 crop conditions project yields to average 37.8 bushels per acre, up 2.5 bushels from last month, but down 4.1 bushels from last year. Area for harvest is forecast at 75.7 million acres, up 1% from September and up 3% from last year.

By the end of September, 54% of the corn crop had been harvested, 36% ahead of last year’s pace and 34% ahead of the five-year average.

Overall, 25% of the corn crop was reported to be in good to excellent condition on Sept. 30, compared with 22% on Sept. 2 and 52% from the same time last year.

By the end of September, 41% of this year’s soybean crop was harvested, 26% ahead of last year and 22% ahead of the five-year average and one of the quickest harvests on record.

Overall, 35% of the soybean crop was reported in good to excellent condition on Sept. 30. That compares to 30% on Sept. 2 and 54% during the same period last year.

Read the full crop update at