USDA Final Report Details Crop Losses to Drought

FILE - In this July 26, 2012 file photo, a field of dried corn plants is seen near Percival, Iowa. In its weekly map, The U.S. Drought Monitor released Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, showed that as of Tuesday, just over two-thirds of Iowa, the nation's biggest corn producer, was in extreme or exceptional drought _ the worst two classifications. That's up more than 5 percentage points, to 67.5 percent, from the previous week. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

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By Liz Blood

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released its final crop report for 2012, showing heavy losses due to the drought still gripping much of the nation.

The year-end report shows farmers got less than three-fourths of the corn the agency initially expected when planting was done in the spring.

The report released Friday shows a harvest of 10.78 billion bushels of corn, 27 percent less than the 14.8 billion bushels anticipated before drought set in.

The number in the final report is slightly more than the agency's December estimate of 10.72 billion bushels and still marks one of the largest corn harvests in U.S. history.

Farmers say better crop technology saved them from more devastating losses, and production was helped by the large number of acres planted this year.

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