Despite the less than ideal soil conditions and above normal temperatures during the 2010 growing season, U.S. corn growers harvested the third largest crop on record, according to the Crop Production 2010 Summary released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

Corn

Corn production totaled 12.4 billion bushels, down 5 percent from the record high, set last year. Corn yield in 2010 is estimated at 152.8 bushels per acre, 11.9 bushels below last year’s record. Planted area, at 88.2 million acres, is the second largest since 1946, behind the 93.5 million acres record set in 2007.

Cotton

All cotton production is up 50 percent from 2009, at 18.3 million 480-pound bales. The U.S. yield is estimated at 821 pounds per acre, up 44 pounds from last year’s yield. Harvested area, at 10.7 million acres, is up 42 percent from last year.

Soybeans

The 2010 soybean production totaled 3.33 billion bushels, down only one percent from the record production, set in 2009. The average soybean yield in 2010 is estimated at 43.5 bushels per acre, 0.5 bushels below last year’s yield. The area planted for soybeans in 2010, at 77.4 million acres, fell only fractionally short of last year’s record.

Wheat

NASS estimates the 2010 all wheat production at 2.21 billion bushels, down less than one percent from 2009. The all wheat yield was a record high 46.4 bushels per acre, 1.9 bushels higher from 2009 and 1.5 bushels above the previous record, set in 2008. Sorghum

Grain sorghum production in 2010 is estimated at 345 million bushels, 10 percent down from 2009. Sorghum average yield was 71.8 bushels per acre, up 2.4 bushels from last year. Area planted for sorghum, at 5.4 million acres, is down 19 percent from last year and is the lowest planted area on record. Harvested area, at 4.8 million acres, is the lowest since 1939.

The full Crop Production 2010 Summary is available online at http://www.nass.usda.gov. The report contains year-end acreage, yield and production estimates for grains and hay, oilseeds, cotton, tobacco and sugar, dry beans, peas and lentils, and potatoes and miscellaneous crops.