The latest crop production figures were published last week by the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NAAS).
According to the annual summary, soybean production in 2006 totalled 3.19 billion bushels, the largest US soybean crop on record. This was down less than 1 percent from the November forecast but 4 percent above the 2005 production, said the USDA.
The average yield per acre for soybeans was estimated at 42.7 bushels, 0.3 bushel below both the November forecast and last year's record high yield. Harvested area was up 5 percent from 2005, to a record high 74.6 million acres.
Corn for grain production was estimated at 10.5 billion bushels, down 2 percent from the November forecast and 5 percent lower than 2005.
The average US grain yield was estimated at 149.1 bushels per acre, down 2.1 bushels from the November forecast but 1.1 bushels above 2005. The 2006 yield estimate was the second highest on record, behind 2004, said the USDA, while the production estimate was the third largest on record. Area harvested for grain, at 70.6 million acres, was down 6 percent from 2005.
Sorghum grain production in 2006 was set at 278 million bushels, down 4 percent from the November forecast and 29 percent below 2005.
Planted area was estimated at 6.52 million acres, up 1 percent from last year, and area harvested for grain, at 4.94 million acres, was down 14 percent from 2005. Average grain yield, at 56.2 bushels per acre, was up 2.0 bushels from the previous forecast but down 12.3 bushels from last year.
Rice production in 2006 was estimated at 194 million cwt, down 13 percent from last year's crop but up less than 1 percent from the November forecast.
Planted area, at 2.84 million acres, was down 16 percent from 2005. Area for harvest, at 2.82 million acres, was also down 16 percent from last year. The average yield for all US rice was estimated at 6,868 pounds per acre, 232 pounds above the 2005 yield.
All cotton production was estimated at 21.7 million bales, up 2 percent from last month but down 9 percent from last year's record high production.
The US yield, at 819 pounds per acre, was down 12 pounds per acre from the previous year. Production and yield were both the third largest on record. Harvested area, at 12.7 million acres, was down less than 1 percent from the December forecast and down 8 percent from last year.