The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday slightly lowered its projection for the nation’s corn crop for a fourth straight month, reflecting worse-than-expected news about the actual impact of this year’s withering drought from the farmers busy harvesting their fields.
The USDA estimates that farmers will harvest 10.71 billion bushels of corn this year, which would be the smallest amount since 2006. Last month’s estimate was 10.73 billion bushels.
Farmers have harvested 69 percent of the nation’s corn already this year, which is well ahead of the 28 percent that would be harvested by this time in a typical year.
The average yield is about 122 bushels per acre, which is down from last month’s estimate of 122.8 bushels. That is the lowest average yield since 1995 and is significantly below last year’s yield of nearly 153 bushels per acre.