Despite a late planting season, farmers are still expected to harvest the second biggest corn crop on record and U.S. corn supplies are projected at a record 14.5 billion bushels.
According to the crop report released this morning, USDA is forecasting a 12.8 billion bushel corn crop – just two percent less than the record 2007 crop and five percent more than last year. USDA’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand report estimates corn use for 2009/10 will also be higher. “Food, seed, and industrial use is raised 100 million bushels with higher expected use for ethanol supported by favorable ethanol producer returns and strong incentives for ethanol blending,” USDA predicts. They also added another 100 million bushels for feed and residual use and another 150 million in exports.
“We’re proud of our growers and excited to see these estimates because they reflect a lot of hard work and represent the high production many of us are seeing in our fields,” said National Corn Growers Association President Bob Dickey, a grower in Laurel, Neb. “This is all-around a great accomplishment by our farmers and good news for our markets and, ultimately, American consumers.”
Renewable Fuels Association President Bob Dinneen says this proves American farmers are able to provide food, feed, and fuel for the nation. “Technological advancements in both the seed and in the field are allowing farmers to produce more per acre, while using fewer inputs such as fertilizer and diesel fuel. There can be no doubt that we are fully capable of meeting the food and feed obligations we have to the world while simultaneously helping break our addiction to foreign oil,” said Dinneen.
Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, says the continued increases in both corn and soybean production contradicts the theory of indirect land use change. “Based on these reports, it’s silly to still think that the demand for corn in the U.S. to make ethanol would displace land used to plant soybeans and in turn cause deforestation in other parts of the world,” Buis said.
Analyst Peter Georgantones of the Minnesota-based Investment Trading Services thinks the 12.8 billion bushel corn crop forecast could get even bigger. “I actually think the corn yield is going to continue to grow unless we get an early frost,” he said. “I could see 2-3 bushels more put on this corn crop pretty easily.” USDA is predicting a yield of 159.5 bushels per acre, the second highest on record.