U.S. farmers produced the largest corn and soybean crops on record in 2009, according to the Crop Production 2009 Summary released January 12 by USDA.
Corn production is 13.2 billion bushels, 1 percent above the previous record of 13 billion bushels set in 2007, and 9 percent higher than 2008. Corn yields reached an all-time high in 2009 at 165.2 bushels per acre, eclipsing the previous record of 160.3 bushels per acre set in 2004. Planted area, at 86.5 million acres, was the second highest since 1949, behind 2007's 93.5 million acres.
Soybean production totaled 3.36 billion bushels, up 13 percent from 2008 and up 5 percent from the previous record set in 2006. The average yield per acre is 44 bushels, up 0.9 bushels from the previous record set in 2005. Farmers nationwide planted a total of 77.5 million soybean acres and harvested 76.4 million acres in 2009, both up 2 percent from the previous record set last year.
When producers were surveyed in late November and early December, there was significant unharvested acreage of corn in Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin, and significant unharvested acreage of soybeans in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. The unharvested area and expected production were included in the totals released on January 12.
The graphs represent futures' settlement prices for September corn and soybean meal as of January 12. Since the new crop report was released, September corn has dropped between 25 and 30 cents a bushel and soybean meal has dropped between $20 and $30 a ton.