Linn Group slices estimates for U.S. corn, soybean harvests

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Linn Group, a brokerage firm, cut its outlooks for the U.S. corn and soybean harvests Wednesday, predicting farmers will harvest fewer bushels this fall than they did last year.

The Chicago-based firm pegged the 2011 corn crop at 12.391 billion bushels, with an average yield of 149.1 bushels per acre. That is below the U.S. Department of Agriculture's latest estimate of 12.914 billion bushels, with an average yield of 153 bushels an acre, and the 2010 harvest of 12.447 billion bushels.

The firm estimated the soybean crop at 2.997 billion bushels, with a yield of 41 bushels per acre. The USDA last estimated the soybean crop at 3.056 billion bushels, with an average yield of 41.4 bushels an acre, down from 3.329 billion bushels in 2010.

The estimates make Linn Group the latest private firm to cut its harvest estimates due to poor weather. Earlier this month, it estimated corn output at 12.775 billion bushels, with an average yield of 152.1 bushels per acre, and soybean output at 3.148 billion bushels, with a yield of 43 bushels per acre.

"Corn development has been under pressure from the start this year, with a wet spring delaying field work, followed by flooding at critical times, then severe July heat, and finally a dry August for many key Midwest growing areas," the firm said in a note.

The USDA will update its crop forecasts Sept. 12.



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