DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- This year's corn crop is the largest the nation has ever seen, and exceeds earlier government projections.
In its first report since the government shutdown, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Friday it expects 13.99 billion bushels of corn. It had forecast 13.8 billion bushels. The previous record was 13.1 billion in 2009.
Heavy rains delayed spring planting and drought conditions returned to parts of the Midwest. Some analysts thought there would be a subpar harvest.
But adequate rain and cooler temperatures at pollination time produced exceptional results, especially in Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.
Prices dropped below $4.20 a bushel Friday, the lowest since 2010.
That means some farmers see lower profits, but chicken, pork, and beef producers will have lower feed costs.
Grocery prices won't be impacted.