Crop Production Down, Prices At Record Highs: USDA Releases Grim Assessment Of Drought

Source: NBC News

Federal forecasters are predicting record prices for corn and soybeans, raising fears of a new world food crisis as the worst U.S. drought in half a century continues to punish key farm states.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday said production of U.S. corn and soybeans is expected to be down 17 percent from its forecast last month of nearly 13 billion bushels, and 13 percent lower than last year. It was the second month in a row when the USDA has cut its production estimate.

Corn prices briefly surged to a record on the USDA’s forecast, but then retreated because the government said demand for the grain would fall due to its soaring cost.

The USDA’s first official assessment of the impact of the drought that has ravaged the nation’s Corn Belt is based on samples from parched, scorched fields, which are now expected to produce corn yields 25 percent below normal.

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