USDA: Record Corn Production, Highest Supplies Since 1980s

In its recent “World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates” report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is projecting a record corn crop and supplies for the 2016-2017 marketing year. The report calls for supplies to be up 866 million bushels up from last year at 16.3 billion bushels. According to the USDA’s projects for corn use and exports, the projected corn ending stocks of 2.2 billion bushels would be the highest since the mid-1980s.

irfa-rfs“All of the USDA’s statistics simply underscore the need for a strong and robust federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS),” stated Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) Executive Director Monte Shaw.  “With booming corn supplies, increased driving due to lower-than-normal oil prices and wider availability of higher ethanol blends thanks to USDA’s BIP program, all signs are pointing the EPA to restore the Congressionally prescribed level of 15 billion gallons of corn-based ethanol for 2017.”

Total U.S. feed grain supplies for 2016-’17 are projected up 4 percent from the 2015-’16 record. Corn production is projected at 14.4 billion bushels, up 829 million from last year, and 214 million higher than the previous record in 2014-’15.  USDA says a 5.6 million-acre increase in corn plants more than offsets a small reduction in yield, which is now projected at 168 bushels per acre, down 0.4 bushels from last year.

U.S. corn use for 2016-’17 is projected at a record 14.1 billion bushels, 4 percent higher than for 2015-’16. Corn used to produce ethanol is projected 50 million bushels higher than in 2015-’16 with a reduction in sorghum use for ethanol and higher expected ethanol blending. Feed and residual use for 2016-’17 is projected 300 million bushels higher with higher production, lower expected prices, and further expansion in animal numbers in 2016-’17. Exports for 2016-’17 are projected 175 million bushels higher than this month’s upwardly revised projection for 2015-’16.

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