With tight U.S. corn supplies and a weather-challenged crop heading into harvest, the feed and livestock industries will be tuned into a U.S. House of Representatives livestock subcommittee hearing on Sept. 14.

Specifically, the hearing will look at feed availability and prices. It is expected to be broadcast live and can be viewed online.  The hearing is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. (EDT); 12:30 p.m. (CST). Subcommittee chairman Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.) and ranking Democrat Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Cal.) have called the hearing.

"The U.S. feed industry is the single largest buyer and user of major feed grains, oilseeds and processed meals and co-products, and because animal feed represents approximately 70 percent of the on-farm cost of raising livestock and poultry, when input prices increase significantly -- for whatever reason -- the pain is felt not only by commercial feed manufacturers but throughout the supply chain -- from farmers and ranchers to consumers at the grocery store," says Joel Newman, American Feed Industry Association president and chief executive officer.

Witnesses for the hearing include: Phil Greene of Foster Farms (for AFIA); Randy Spronk, pork producer and vice president of the National Pork Producers Council; livestock economist Steve Meyer, president of Paragon Economics, representing the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. Also on the witness list are representatives from the National Chicken Council, National Turkey Federation and California dairies.

While USDA will update its World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates on Sept. 12, its August numbers dropped average corn yield to 153 bushels per acre, and the crop has deteriorated some since then. Market watchers are predicting 147 bushels per acre to 150.

Expectations ahead of the September WASDE report are for USDA to cut its harvested corn crop projection by 3.1 percent from August's level and 0.5 percent, for a 12.51 billion bushel crop.  

USDA’s August report also dropped 2011/2012 corn carryover supplies to 714 million bushels, which is significantly less than this year’s tight supply. So, if the corn crop runs into additional glitches during harvest, corn users will be looking at even higher prices and shorter supplies.