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Early Prospects for 2009 Corn Yields in Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa

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The USDA’s first forecast of the potential size of the 2009 U.S. corn crop was released on May 12 (USDA/WASDE, 2009). That forecast was based on: 1) acreage  expected to be harvested for grain, which is a function of planting intentions revealed in the March 2009 Prospective Plantings report and the historical relationship between acreage planted for all purposes and acreage harvested for grain, and 2) projected yield, which USDA defined as “… the simple linear trend of the national average yield for 1990-2008 adjusted for 2009 planting progress.” The projected yield was 155.4 bushels per acre, which reflected a 1.5 bushel penalty for the slow pace of planting progress in the eastern Corn Belt. The 2009 production forecast was 12.09 billion bushels.

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