DES MOINES (DTN)--The U.S. Department of Agriculture made a rare move July 11 in raising expected corn production this year to 10.27 billion bushels, up from the record 10.06 billion projected last month.

It's unusual for USDA to revise corn production in July, because USDA is simply making a judgment on yields. Later this month, USDA will survey U.S. corn fields and compute a more accurate yield projection.

USDA releases the improved yield estimate in August--typically the first change in USDA's corn yield for the season.

But warm humid growing conditions that are perfect for corn caused USDA to raise the national average projected yield July 11 to 142.7 bushels per acre, up from 139.7 last month and well above last year's average of 130 bushels.

USDA made a slight increase in U.S. acres, to 79.066 million from 79.022 million in March, but that hike was reported on June 30. USDA still left harvested acreage unchanged from last month at 72 million acres.

If growing conditions remain good, USDA may factor in less abandonment and raise harvested corn acres. But USDA is already showing less abandonment than last year, when only 87.6% of planted corn acres were harvested for grain. This year's estimate is 91%.

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