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Minnesota corn numbers strong; beans light in latest USDA forecast

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Numbers released on Friday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture point to another strong year for corn in Minnesota.

The Associated Press reports that the USDA is projecting Minnesota's corn production at 1.33 billion bushels.

Despite a strange growing season that featured a cold and wet spring and an August drought, the corn production numbers are only down 3 percent from last year's record harvest.

According to a Pioneer Press report, forecasted yield results are expected around 164 bushels an acre for corn. That's down an acre from 2012, when Minnesota escaped the worst of the drought.

The USDA expects the largest corn harvest ever at 13.99 billion bushels nationally. The previous record of 13.1 billion bushels occurred in 2009.

Minnesota Public Radio reports that large of a corn crop has sent the price of corn plummeting, which will cut the costs for the beleaguered biofuel industry, and others like livestock producers who rely on the grain.

It's not all good news though, as the lower corn prices could reduce or eliminate profits for farmers. Right now, the MPR report says with corn prices at $4.18 a bushel it's already below the costs to grow it, and some worry the prices could go lower.

The soybean harvest may be down some from last year. The soybean yield is forecast at 39 bushels per acre. Farmers are expected to harvest about 258 million bushels of soybeans.

The numbers suggest that statewide corn crop appears to be a bit stronger than expected. While the soybean crop wasn't quite as surprising. Both forecasts are down slightly from what the USDA forecasted in September.

Both numbers are good for fourth in the nation in corn and soybean production.

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