- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 12, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The government says farmers are expected to grow 13.6 billion bushels of corn this year, about 4 percent less than last year’s record crop.

The estimate released Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture assumes an average per-acre yield of nearly 167 bushels an acre, down from last year’s record 171 bushels.

Soybean farmers are expected to grow nearly 3.85 billion bushels, down 3 percent from last year’s record crop. The soybean per-acre yield is projected at 46 bushels per acre, down 1.8 bushels from last year’s record.

The USDA says farmers have started well this growing season with 75 percent of the corn crop planted, ahead of the five-year average of 57 percent.

Soybean farmers have planted nearly one-third of the crop, ahead of the average of 20 percent.

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