WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in its September 12 Crop Production report forecast U.S. 2011 corn (maize) production at 12,497,070,000 bushels, down 3% from 12,914,085,000 bushels forecast in August but up 50,205,000 bushels from 12,446,865,000 bushels in 2010. Soybean production was forecast at 3,085,340,000 bushels, up 1% from 3,055,882,000 bushels in August but down 7% from 3,329,341,000 bushels last year.

The USDA corn number was below the average pre-report trade estimate of 12.505 billion bushels, and the soybean number was above the pre-report average of about 3.025 billion bushels.

Based on Sept. 1 conditions, corn yield was forecast at 148.1 bushels an acre, down 4.9 bushels from 153 bushels as both the August forecast and the final 2010 average yield. Harvested area was forecast at 84.4 million acres, unchanged from August but up 4% from 81.4 million acres in 2010.

Soybean yield was forecast at 41.8 bushels an acre, up from 41.4 bushels an acre in August but down 2.1 bushels from 43.5 bushels an acre in 2010. Harvested area was forecast at 73.8 million acres, unchanged from the August forecast and down 4% from 76.6 million acres in 2010.

The USDA corn yield number was below the average trade forecast of 148.8 bushels an acre, and the USDA soybean yield estimate was above the trade average of 41 bushels an acre.

U.S. 2011 rice production was forecast at 190,854,000 cwts, up 1% from 188,088,000 cwts in August but down 21% from 243,104,000 cwts in 2010.

Sorghum production in 2011 was forecast at 244,094,000 bushels, up 1% from 240,638,000 bushels in August but down 29% from 345,395,000 bushels in 2010 and the lowest since 1956, the USDA said.

Revised 2011 U.S. wheat production estimates will be released in the USDA Small Grains Summary on Sept. 30.