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USDA drops prediction for Nebraska corn crop again PDF Print E-mail

LINCOLN (AP) — Nebraska’s 2010 corn harvest should equal the second-largest crop in state history, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said last week.

Nebraska farmers are expected to bring in 1.48 billion bushels of corn, based on Nov. 1 conditions, the USDA said. That’s down 2 percent from last month’s prediction and 6 percent below last year’s record high.

Nebraska farmers planted 3 percent fewer acres of corn this year, the USDA said: 8.55 million acres.

The 2010 corn yield was expected to hit 166 bushels an acre, which would be 12 bushels below last year’s record.

For Nebraska soybeans, the USDA lowered its prediction to a still-record 270 million bushels. The yield was forecast at 53 bushels an acre, down two bushels from last year.

Farmers planted 12 percent more acres of soybeans this year, the USDA said: 5.35 million acres.

Sorghum production also was expected to drop below last year.

The Nebraska harvest forecast was for 6.83 million bushels, 48 percent less than in 2009 and the smallest since 1953.

Barbara Kliment, executive director of the Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board, said 235,000 acres were planted last year, compared with 155,000 acres this year.

There were several reasons for the acreage decline, Kliment said.

Chief among them, she said, was that farmers probably were optimistic this spring about growing other, water-hungrier crops because water supplies seemed plentiful.

Lower harvests also were forecast for two other Nebraska crops.

The USDA pegged the expected sugar beet harvest at 1.07 million tons, which is 17 percent less than last year. And the potato forecast was 750 million pounds—14 percent under 2009.