The United States third most abundant crop of corn is unfolding as harvest continues. According to USDA's  National Agricultural Statistics Service’s monthly crop production report released on Thursday, the final corn harvest is pegged at 10.9 billion bushels. Yields are expected to average 153.5 bushels per acre, 5.6 bushels higher than in 2005.

National Corn Growers Association President Ken McCauley point to forecasted production numbers as an indication that corn growers will produce enough corn for all markets this year. Sure, but at what price? Everyone knows that increasing competition for corn will push prices higher.

Indeed, McCauley sees that as the market's effort to entice more production. “Strengthening corn prices are a clear indication that the market is trying to bid more acreage into corn next year,” says McCauley.

NASS's October report shows that feed and residual uses declined by 25 million bushels to 6.1 billion. Ending stocks are projected to be 996 million bushels, down 224 million bushels from September. Other key uses held steady, with corn exports projected to amount to 2.25 billion and ethanol expected to consume 2.15 billion bushels.

USDA revised estimated planted acreage, which is down 800,000, which naturally leads to corresponding 800,000 drop in harvested acres.

Drought and adverse weather conditions are having some impact on yields across the Corn Belt. Northern and eastern Corn Belt producers are experiencing better–than-expected yields. Yields across the northern and southern Great Plains are unchanged from September’s forecast.

As of Oct. 1, only 20 percent of harvest was complete compared with 25 percent last year and 23 percent for the five-year average, indicating there's  still plenty of corn to pick. 

To view the NASS report, visit www.nass.usda.gov.