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Iowa, U.S. to harvest record corn, soybean crops

WASHINGTON — Farmers enjoying favorable summer weather are expected to harvest record amounts of corn and soybeans in Iowa and across the nation.

The bumper crops, however, are expected to do little to help farmers battling low commodity prices that have left many struggling to post a profit.

The Agriculture Department said Monday that Iowa will produce 559.7 million bushels of soybeans, a modest increase from 550 million bushels forecast last month. The federal government ratcheted down its corn estimate in Iowa by 13.6 million bushels from August, with Iowa farmers expected now to harvest 2.666 billion bushels this fall.

Iowa produces the most corn and is the second-largest soybean grower in the nation.

Nationwide, the USDA reaffirmed corn and soybean harvests will be the largest in history. The USDA predicted a corn crop of 15.093 billion bushels — a decrease of 60 million bushels from August — and a soybean harvest of 4.201 billion bushels, a sharp increase of 141 million bushels from its previous estimate.

Today’s numbers “put a cap on any rallies” in corn and soybean prices, said Don Roose, president of U.S. Commodities in West Des Moines.

The prolonged downturn in commodity prices has spread beyond the farm and also is affecting banks, equipment companies and seed and chemical manufacturers, including DuPont-Pioneer in Johnston.

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