Chicago-based Linn sees U.S. corn crop at record 14.518 bln bu

CHICAGO, Aug 1 (Reuters) – Chicago brokerage The Linn Group forecast record large 2014 U.S. corn and soybean harvests on Friday, surpassing the government’s latest outlooks given mild growing conditions across the crop belt this summer.

The Linn Group estimated this year’s corn crop at 14.518 billion bushels, reflecting an average yield of 172.8 bushels per acre. Total U.S. soybean production was projected at 3.849 billion bushels, with an average yield of 45.8 bushels per acre.

The estimates were based on field surveys, analysis of weather conditions and customer reports from a 25-state region stretching across the Corn Belt to the mid-South and southern Plains.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is currently estimating the corn crop at 13.860 billion bushels, with an average yield of 165.3 bushels per acre. The government is forecasting soybean production at a record 3.8 billion bushels, with an average yield of 45.2 bushels per acre.

Above-normal rains during June set the corn crop off to a strong start and provided adequate soil moisture during July when a good portion of the Corn Belt saw below-normal rains, The Linn Group said in a statement.

Soybeans are also in good shape going into August when yields are dependent on rains, the firm added.

USDA will update its U.S. corn and soybean production estimates on Aug. 12 – the first forecasts based on actual field surveys.