U.S. total feed grain supplies for 2010/11, projected at 380.3 million metric tons, are unchanged from last month but down 17.5 million from last year. Food, seed, and, industrial use is increased by 1.8 million tons this month to 168.2 million, all due to increases in corn use.

Feed and residual use is unchanged this month. On a September-August marketing year basis for 2010/11, feed and residual use for the four feed grains plus wheat is projected to total 142.6 million tons, up 1.6 million from 2009/10.

The projected index of grain consuming animal units (GCAU) in 2010/11 is 93.1 million units, up slightly from last month and up from 91.7 million units in 2009/10. Of the index components, the increase in GCAUs is primarily due to an increase in cattle on feed. Cattle placements during December were large and will result in higher-than-previously forecast slaughter in mid-2011. Feed and residual per GCAU in 2010/11 is estimated at 1.53 tons. Feed and residual per GCAU has been trending downward over time, especially the last few years as rising domestic use of distillers’ dried grains and corn gluten feed have helped offset declines in grain feeding. High corn prices in recent years have also likely reduced the “residual” component of the feed and residual category.

The annual cattle inventory was released since the last Feed Outlook report. Cows and heifers that have calved on January 1, 2011, were down 1 percent from the previous year, and replacement heifers were down as well. This is the lowest January 1 inventory of all cattle and calves since 1958. Recalculated roughageconsuming animal units (RCAU) in 2010/11 are projected at 69.02 million units, down 1.9 percent from 2009/10. December 1 hay stocks per RCAU are estimated at 1.48 tons, up slightly from last month but down from 1.53 tons a year earlier.

Source: USDA\ERS