USDA slightly lowers Minn. corn crop estimateby Mark Steil, Minnesota Public Radio
Worthington, Minn. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture reduced its estimate of the size of the Minnesota corn crop slightly in its latest forecast, but increased the outlook for soybeans.
Minnesota's $7 billion corn crop is expected to average 165 bushels an acre when combines start rolling later this month. That's down one bushel per acre from the August forecast, but still would be the fourth-best yield on record.
Parts of southern Minnesota have seen a couple months of dry weather, hurting kernel development. Soybeans normally handle dry weather better than corn, and the USDA pushed up its Minnesota soybean forecast one bushel to 41 bushels an acre.
Dry weather reduced corn yields across most of the Midwest, down 3 percent from August. The yield in the nation's top corn producing state, Iowa, was lowered 10 bushels an acre in the latest USDA forecast.
The expected reduction in yields has pushed corn prices higher, and as a result, grain usage has declined a little.
Commodity broker Chuck Persson said corn demand is down in both the livestock and ethanol sectors.