COLUMBIA, Mo. -- With this year's harvest nearly complete, Missouri's soybean production is forecast to fall significantly short of last year's, but not quite as much as previously predicted, the U.S. Agriculture Department said Wednesday.
Soybean production is forecast at 144 million bushels based on Nov. 1 conditions. That's a 16 percent reduction from the 2002 production of 170 million bushels. But it's up 4 percent from the forecast released just one month ago by the Agriculture Department's state statistical service, based in Columbia.
As of Sunday, 88 percent of Missouri's soybeans had been harvested.
Soybeans are Missouri's leading crop, both by value and acreage, followed by corn.
The statistical service forecast this year's corn production at 305 million bushels -- 8 percent above last year's production.
Corn yields are forecast at 109 bushels an acre, up 4 bushels from the 2002 yield. Soybean yields are forecast at 29 bushels per acre, which is 5 bushels below last year's yield.
The U.S. Agriculture Department said Missouri's cotton production is forecast to be better than last year's, but its rice and grain sorghum production both are expected to fall below last year's levels.
The November report is the department's last periodic update. Final crop production totals for 2003 are expected to be released on Jan. 12, 2004.