Fields under water, 5.30

Corn sprouts through water in a partially flooded farm field near St. Mary in May. Despite widespread flooding that delayed and in some cases prevented planting, Nebraska is expected to produce slightly more corn this year than last.

Nebraska farmers are forecast to harvest slightly more corn this year, despite spring floods that left many of them planting late or not at all.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's monthly crop production report estimates corn production in the state this year will be 1.795 billion bushels, up slightly from 1.788 billion bushels last year.

The report projects that 9.65 million acres of corn will be harvested this year, up from 9.31 million acres last year, while yields will be lower -- 186 bushels per acre this year, compared with 192 last year.

Nebraska was hit hard by widespread flooding in March, and some parts of the state also experienced heavy flooding in July. Some areas along the Missouri River didn't see water recede for months.

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Despite that, Nebraska had fewer acres that were unable to be planted on -- 332,000 -- than any of the other top corn-producing states.

Nationally, the USDA is forecasting that corn production will be down 4% compared with 2018. However, its projection that 90 million acres have been planted is 2.6% higher than what analysts project.

That caused corn futures prices to fall 6% Monday, the worst one-day decline in six years, according to Bloomberg News.

The news for soybeans is not as good, with the USDA forecasting a harvest of 287.1 million bushels of soybeans in Nebraska, down nearly 15% from 2018. That's slightly better than the forecast 19% decline for the nation as a whole.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.


Business editor/reporter

Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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