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Prices plunge for big U. S. corn, soy crops

U. S. farmers will reap two of their largest corn and soybean crops ever – 12.200 billion bushels of corn and 2.983 billion bushels of soybeans – but face sharply lower prices at the farm gate, the government said Oct. 10.

The Agriculture Department cut its estimate of the season-average price for this year’s soybean crop by $2 a bushel or 16 per cent, and for corn by 80 cents or 15 per cent.

It cited plummeting market prices that accompany global economic turmoil. Still, they would be the highest farm gate prices on record – $4.70 per bushel for corn and $10.35 a bushel for soybeans.

Timely rains in the central corn belt and Plains prompted USDA to raise its forecast of the corn crop by 128 million bushels or one per cent to 12.200 billion bushels, the second largest on record. Less corn will be used for ethanol, due to reduced gasoline usage, so the corn stockpile will grow.

Soybean yields were lower than forecast in most of the Midwest and Plains, said USDA, but revisions showed a record amount of land, 77 million acres, planted to the oilseed. As a result, USDA estimated a crop of 2.983 billion bushels, the fourth largest ever.

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