USDA projects corn yield at record 167.4 bushels per acre

By Susanne Retka Schill | August 12, 2014

The USDA survey-based yield forecast in the August supply/demand report released Aug. 12 pegs corn yield at a record 167.4 bushels per acre, up 2.1 bushel from last month’s trend-based projection. The new forecast projects a record corn crop of 14.032 billion bushels on 83.8 million acres expected to be harvested. That compares with last year’s yield of 158.8 bushels per acre on 87.7 million acres harvested.

USDA projects total corn supplies for 2014/15 at a record 15.243 billion bushels with the increase in production partly offset by a 65-million-bushel reduction in beginning stocks. Corn use for ethanol and exports are raised 45 million bushels and 20 million bushels, respectively, for 2013/14, based on reported data to date. Projected corn use for 2014/15 is higher with use for ethanol and exports each raised 25 million bushels, and feed and residual disappearance 50 million bushels higher with the larger crop. These projections put ethanol use for ethanol at 5.075 billion bushels in the 2014/15 marketing year. Projected ending stocks for 2014/15 are raised slightly to 1,808 million bushels. The projected season-average farm price for corn is lowered 10 cents at both ends of the range to $3.55 to $4.25 per bushel.

Sorghum supplies for 2014/15 are projected 4 million bushels higher as a 15-million-bushel increase in 2013/14 exports lowers 2014/15 beginning stocks, mostly offsetting the higher forecast production. Projected sorghum exports for 2014/15 are raised 10 million bushels. The season-average farm price for sorghum is also projected 10 cents lower at both ends of the range to $3.30 to $4.00 per bushel. 

Global coarse grain supplies for 2014/15 are projected 4.9 million tons higher, mostly reflecting larger expected corn crops in the United States and EU and increased barley production for FSU-12. The smaller projected carryin for the United

States partly offsets this month’s 6.6-million-ton increase in global coarse grain output. EU corn production is raised 1.4 million tons after abundant rainfall and favorable temperatures during July. Reduced prospects for corn, sorghum, and millet, with the delayed monsoon, lower India total coarse grain production 2.7 million tons, partly offsetting increases elsewhere. Turkey corn production is also lowered 0.3 million tons.

Global coarse grain consumption for 2014/15 is raised this month with a 2.3-million-ton increase in world corn use. Higher corn use in the United States accounts for most of the increase. Corn consumption is lowered 2.0 million tons for EU as heavy summer rains have reduced wheat quality across the region, raising prospects for wheat feeding. Corn food use is reduced 0.5 million tons for India with the smaller crop outlook. Higher projected corn use for Egypt, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Algeria, and Taiwan partly offset these reductions. Corn imports are lowered for EU, but raised for Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Lebanon, and Algeria. Global 2014/15 coarse grain ending stocks are projected 2.7 million tons higher reflecting larger barley ending stocks. Global corn ending stocks are lowered slightly.