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Nebraska wheat crop forecast down 9 pct from 2011

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- The latest federal forecast says Nebraska's 2012 wheat crop will be 9 percent under last year's harvest, but the average yield will be higher.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in a report released Thursday that the crop is estimated at 59.7 million bushels. An average yield of 47 bushels an acre is expected, which is 2 bushels higher than last year and 6 bushels above the 10-year average.

The USDA says the harvest drop is expected because the 1.27 million acres to be harvested for grain is 12 percent under last year and is the lowest since 1917.

The wheat crop condition is rated at 70 percent good to excellent.