The U.S. Agriculture Department unexpectedly raised its forecast for the country’s soybean crop this year as favorable weather boosted yields. The agency lowered its projections for corn production by less than analysts predicted.
U.S. farmers will harvest 3.935 billion bushels of soybeans, matching the high end of estimates from analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, according to USDA figures released Friday in Washington. Production of the oilseed was a record 3.969 billion bushels last year. Analysts forecast a 2015 crop of 3.841 billion bushels.
The department raised its forecast yield for soybeans to 47.1 bushels per acre from 46.9 bushels, compared with the average analyst estimate of 46.1. Supplies in the year ending Aug. 31, 2016, will be 450 million bushels, compared with 470 million predicted a month ago. The average analyst estimate was 424 million.
Cool weather in the Midwest, the main production region for the nation’s two most-valuable crops, reduced stress on crops during a crucial period for developing plants, the USDA said. Rainfall late in the month aided crops in the upper Midwest, “which experienced a nearly ideal growing season,” the USDA said in a monthly report.
Corn farmers will bring in 13.585 billion bushels of the grain this year, less than the 13.686 billion estimated a month ago. Supplies in the year ending Aug. 31, 2016, will total 1.592 billion bushels of the grain, less than the 1.713 billion predicted in August, the USDA report showed. Analysts projected production this year of 13.484 billion bushels.