January 12, 2010

Big corn crop gets bigger, yields blow past previous record

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said this morning that U.S. corn farmers produced an estimated 13.15 billion bushels of corn in 2009-10, a figure that is up 2 percent from the November forecast and 1 percent above the previous record of 13.0 billion bushels set in 2007.

Yields were estimated at a record 165.2 bushels per acre, up 2.3 bushels from the November forecast and a whopping 4.9 bushels above the previous record of 160.3 bushels per acre set in 2004.

Production at that level means the total 2009-10 corn supply stands at 14.83 billion bushels (13.15 billion in production plus a 1.67 carry-in plus 10 million in imports).

In Nebraska, USDA gave a crop estimate of 1.58 billion bushels off a yield of 178.0 bushels per acre. Both are records -- with the previous production record coming in 2007 at 1.47 billion bushels and previous yield coming in 2004 at 166 bushels per acre.

In its supply and demand report, USDA estimated that corn for feed use would be 5.55 billion, an increase 150 million from December. It left corn for exports unchanged at 2.1 billion and corn for ethanol unchanged at 4.2 billion.

The bottom line is an estimate of ending stocks rising to 1.76 billion bushels, up 89 million from December's estimate.

Corn stocks
USDA said corn stored in all positions as of December 1, 2009, totaled 10.9 billion bushels, which is up 9 percent from December 1, 2008. Of these stocks, 7.45 billion bushels are stored on farms, up 15 percent from a year earlier, while 3.47 billion are stored off farms, which is down 3 percent from last year.

In Nebraska, USDA said 1.33 billion bushels of corn are stored in all positions, with 930 million being stored on farms and 404 million being stored off farms. A year ago 1.19 billion bushels were in storage, with 780 being stored on farms and 407 being stored off farms.

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