By Jessica Domel
Multimedia Reporter

American farmers could produce the second largest corn crop on record if the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) forecast holds true.

Last year, U.S. farmers produced 14.6 billion bushels of corn. This year, 14.827 billion bushels are forecast. That’s up 241 million bushels from USDA’s August World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) forecast.

After the report was released, some farmers questioned the accuracy of the forecast.

Preston said it revised its production forecast upward based on good information.

“The change in the NASS (National Agricultural Statistics Service) is based on a combination of surveys of farmers’ expected yields, as well as objective yield surveys conducted by NASS itself,” Warren Preston, USDA’s deputy chief economist, said.

Yields are forecast to be record high in Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Indiana, Ohio and South Dakota.

“In terms of the yield estimates, we have the highest number of ears per acre on record, as well as the highest implied ear weight on record. So that’s contributing to that high yield estimate,” Preston said.

Unfortunately, due to drought and other conditions, many Texas corn farmers will see lower-than-normal production this year.

According to USDA’s Newsline, adequate moisture in the corn belt throughout the season created conducive conditions for corn farmers.

“What’s really significant about that is it’s quite a bit above any of the industry expectations,” Preston said.

Beginning stocks are forecast at two billion bushels, up slightly from last month.

The U.S. is forecast to export around 2.4 billion bushels of corn this year. That’s up from the 2.35 billion forecast last month.

Ending stocks are estimated at 1.774 billion bushels on an increasing supply.

The average farm price is down a dime at $3-$4 a bushel.

According to the September WASDE, global corn production is expected to increase to 1,069 million metric tons (MMT) this year based on increased production in the European Union, Angola, Paraguay, Turkey and Serbia.

Canada, South Africa and Guatemala are all forecast to see a decrease in production due to drought.

World corn use this year is estimated at 1,106 MMT, up from 1,098.89 MMT.

USDA predicts global ending stocks at 157.03 MMT, up from 155.49 MMT.

The full WASDE report is available here.

The next report will be released Oct. 11.