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USDA forecasts record soybean production, second-highest corn

WILLMAR -- According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's September Crop Production Report, soybean production in the United States is expected to reach a record-high of 3.25 billion bushels in 2009, up 10 percent from last year.

Based on crop conditions as of Sept. 1, USDA is expecting a national average soybean yield of 42.3 bushels per acre, up 2.7 bushels from 2008. This would be the third-highest soybean yield in U.S. history.

In terms of corn, USDA is forecasting that corn production in the U.S. will total 13 billion bushels in 2009, up 7 percent from last year. This would be the second-largest corn crop in U.S. history, exceeded only by 2007.

Based on crop conditions as of Sept. 1, USDA is forecasting a national average corn yield of 161.9 bushels per acre, up 8 bushels from last year. This would be the highest corn yield in U.S. history.

In the September report, USDA also estimated that Minnesota corn production would total 1.2 billion bushels, up 2 percent from last year.

Based on crop conditions as of Sept. 1, corn yields in Minnesota are expected to average 167 bushels per acre, up 3 bushels from 2008.

Minnesota soybean production is forecast to total 284 million bushels, up 8 percent from last year.

Based on crop conditions as of Sept. 1, Minnesota soybean yields are expected to average 40 bushels per acre, up 2 bushels from 2008.

Minnesota sugar beet production is forecast to total 11.3 million tons, up 14 percent from 2008. Sugar beet yields are expected to average 25 tons per acre, up 0.3 of a ton from 2008.

Nominations for dairy advisers

In an effort to both listen and respond to the needs of dairy producers and the dairy industry, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is establishing a national Dairy Industry Advisory Committee. Vilsack will appoint up to 15 representatives of the dairy industry to serve in an advisory capacity and is requesting nominations for potential committee members.

Representatives will include producers and producer organizations, processors and processor organizations, handlers, consumers, academia, retailers and state agencies involved in dairy.

Once appointed, the committee will review the issues of farm milk price volatility and dairy farmer profitability. The committee will also offer suggestions and ideas on how USDA can best address these issues to meet the dairy industry's needs.

Advisory committee members will elect the chairman and vice chairman, who will each serve a two-year term. As deputy administrator of farm programs at USDA's Farm Service Agency, Brandon Willis will serve as the committee's executive secretary.

Nominations can be faxed to 202-720-4726, or sent via e-mail to All nominations must be received on or before Sept. 28.

Census of Ag data available by ZIP

The National Agricultural Statistics Service has expanded the amount of information available from the 2007 Census of Agriculture by providing selected data at the ZIP code level. The ZIP code-level data can be accessed online through the Statistics Service's census statistics database, Quick Stats, which can be accessed at:

USDA farmworker survey

According to USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, there were 76,000 hired workers on farms in the Lake Region (Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin) during the week of July 12-18.

Farm operators paid their hired workers an average wage of $11.04 per hour during the survey week, up 29 cents from July 2008.

The number of hours worked averaged 34.6 for hired workers during the survey week, down from 36.5 hours in July 2008. In Minnesota, there were 5.5 days suitable for fieldwork during the survey week, compared to 4.5 days during the 2008 survey week.

Nelson is executive director of the Farm Service Agency in Kandiyohi County.