According to the USDA, the U.S. corn crop will be the second largest in history, up 5 percent from 2008, and falling just short of 13 billion bushels. On average, USDA is predicting corn yields to be 159.5 bushels per acre, the second highest yield ever. Adding in supplies carried over from last year, the corn supply for the 2009 marketing year is anticipated to be 14.5 billion bushels, the highest level on record. USDA also estimated that 4.2 billion bushels of the projected 12.8 billion bushel corn crop would be used in ethanol production.

“Forecasted yields are higher than last year across the central Great Plains and western Corn Belt where mild temperatures and adequate soil moisture supplies provided favorable growing conditions. Expected yields were also higher across much of the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys and Atlantic Coast where beneficial moisture this year contrasted with exceptionally dry conditions last year. Yield prospects are lower in the central Corn Belt where excessive spring moisture delayed planting and below normal temperatures slowed corn emergence and development,” the Crop Production report said.

Soybean production is forecast at a record high 3.20 billion bushels, up 8 percent from last year. Based on Aug. 1 conditions, yields are expected to average 41.7 bushels per acre, up 2.1 bushels from 2008.