Corn prices rose Sept. 28 to more than $7.50 a bushel after a USDA report showed supplies lower than expected.

The report showed 988 million bushels of corn on hand Sept. 1, the lowest inventory in nearly a decade, with 314 million bushels stored on farms and 675 million bushels in off-farm storage facilities.

Combined with the effects of the worst drought to strike the Midwest in decades, the Sept. 28 report triggered a surge in corn prices after prices had fallen from more than $7.60 a bushel Aug. 24 to less than $7.20 by mid-September.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map showed 65.5 percent of the contiguous U.S. in some form of drought, up from 64.8 percent a week ago.

The USDA on Oct. 11 will release yield estimates for the 2012 harvest, which is now in full swing.

Also Sept. 28, the USDA released all-wheat production figures for 2012 of 2.27 billion bushels, up 13 percent from 2011.

Winter wheat production of 1.65 billion bushels is up 10 percent from 2011. Spring wheat production of 542 million bushels is up 19 percent, and durum wheat, at 82 million bushels, is up 62 percent.

--Mitch Lies

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