USDA predicts a record corn crop. And we need it, as the agency’s Feed Outlook report projects smaller ending stocks for the 2010/2011 marketing year. Highlights of the report, released Monday, include the following.

• U.S. feed grain production in 2010 is forecast at 354.5 million metric tons, up 3.9 million tons from a month ago and up 5.5 million tons from 2009.

• Production from last year is up for corn and sorghum but down for barley and oats. Feed grain supply in 2010/2011 is forecast at 397.2 million tons, up 2.6 million tons from last month but down 1.1 million from 2009/2010.

• Forecast beginning stocks are lowered 1.3 million tons from last month and are down 6.4 million tons from the previous year.

• Total feed grain use is projected at 360 million tons in 2010/2011, up 3.9 million from last month and up 2.3 million from the previous year. The year-to-year increase reflects higher projected exports and smaller increases in domestic uses.

• Feed and residual use in 2010/2011 is expected to total 141.9 million tons, up 0.3 million from last month but down 5 million from 2009/2010. Food, seed, and industrial use, at 161.9 million tons, is up 0.7 million from last month reflecting increases in corn sweeteners and starch use. FSI is projected up 5.7 million tons from 2009/2010, mostly reflecting higher corn use for ethanol. Exports are forecast at 56.1 million tons, up 2.7 million from last month and up 1.5 million from last year.

• In 2009/2010, exports are raised from 54.0 million tons to 54.6 million, mainly from an increase in corn exports.

• Ending stocks for 2009/2010 are lowered 41.9 million tons to 40.6 million.

• Corn is estimated to account for 92 percent of total feed and residual use in 2010/2011, down from 94 percent in 2009/2010.

• U.S. corn production is forecast at 13.37 billion bushels, up 255 million bushels from last year and, if realized, the largest corn crop on record. Harvested acreage is forecast at 81 million acres for grain, unchanged from last month but up 1.4 million from last year.

• Based on Aug. 1 conditions, yields are expected to average 165 bushels per acre, up 1.5 bushels from last month’s yield projection of 163.5 bushels and the actual 2009 yield of 164.7 bushels. If realized, this would be the highest yield on record.

• Corn prices received by farmers for 2010/2011 are projected at $3.50-$4.10 per bushel, up 5 cents on both ends of the range this month. The marketing year average reflects higher prices for corn with tighter ending stocks and lower global feed grain supplies.

• The 2009/2010 estimated corn price remains unchanged at $3.50-$3.60 per bushel.

The full report is available online from USDA.

Source: USDA