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Agricultural News

Ethanol Interests Tout Big Corn Crop Projected by USDA for 2010

Tue, 11 May 2010 10:32:58 CDT

Ethanol Interests Tout Big Corn Crop Projected by USDA for 2010 Officials from the Renewable Fuel Association are delighted with the USDA projection of what could be a record sized corn crop that will be produced in 2010. In an email to agricultural broadcasters- the RFA offers these highlights of the report from an "ethanol point of view." In the email, a slap is taken at the livestock industry groups who have challenged the right of the ethanol industry to keep long standing tax breaks when they expire later this year.
Here's the text and commentary that we received:


USDA put out its first estimate of the size of this year's corn crop today, and not surprisingly, it projects an all-time record 13.4 billion bushels of corn.

In fact, much of the report was as expected. Over the past two generations, corn farmers have shown an amazing ability to produce more grains - corn included - per acre of land. In 2010, that trend shows no sign of slowing.

Still, the numbers that USDA is projecting are quite impressive and go a long way towards putting an end to the food fight between corporate livestock interests and American farmers and ethanol producers.

Here are some of the key points from today's report:

Corn supplies are projected at a record 15.1 billion bushels,
325 million higher than in 2009/10. This is the first time corn supplies have ever surpassed the 15 billion bushel threshold.

Corn production for 2010/11 is projected at a record 13.4
billion bushels, up 260 million from 2009/10.

USDA projects 88.8 million acres of corn to be planted, up
slightly from 2009, but below corn acreage levels seen in past.

Yield expectations are 163.4 bushels per acre, 2.7 bushels
higher than a yield number based on the trend from 1990-2009.

Year-end surpluses for 2010/11 are expected to be 1.8 billion
bushels, up from last year.

Corn use for ethanol in the 2010/11 marketing year
(Sept. 1-Aug. 31) is expected to be 4.6 billion bushels. This equates to 12.85 billion gallons of ethanol and more than 35 million metric
tons of livestock feed products, including distillers grains.   

While corn for ethanol use continues to grow, so too do exports of both corn and DDGS. All of this increase in use comes simultaneously with a growth in year-end surpluses, demonstrating that there are ample supplies of corn available for feed and fuel use with nearly
2 billion of bushels to spare.

It may also be worth noting that planting and emergence of the crop are all well ahead of historical averages. Should farmers see a near-normal growing season - something that has eluded them in recent years - USDA's first yield estimate likely will prove to be on the low side. Consider that last year, despite an extremely late planting season and the worst harvest conditions in recent memory, farmers tallied a record average corn yield of 164.7 bushels/acre.

Without ethanol production, rapidly growing supplies of corn would overburden the market, bottom out prices and force the federal government to spend billions in farm program payments. This may be the goal of the American Meat Institute and the Grocery Manufacturers of America, but it would be devastating to rural America.



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