USDA: Corn use for fuel ethanol up in May

By Erin Voegele | July 29, 2021

The USDA recently released its Grain Crushings and Co-Products Production report for July, reporting that corn use for fuel ethanol in May was up significantly from both the previous month and May 2020.

Total corn consumed for alcohol and other uses was at 503 million bushels in May, up 9 percent from the previous month and up 42 percent from May 2020. May 2021 usage included 91.2 percent for alcohol and 8.8 percent for other purposes.

Corn consumed for fuel alcohol reached 488 million bushels, up 10 percent from the previous month and up 49 percent when compared to May 2020. Corn consumed for dry milling fuel production and wet milling fuel production was 91.7 percent and 8.3 percent, respectively.

Approximately 182,000 hundredweight (cwt) (10,192 tons) of sorghum also went to fuel ethanol production in May, down from 2.047 million cwt in May 2020. The volume of sorghum used for fuel ethanol production in April 2021 was withheld by USDA to avoid disclosing data for individual operations.

At dry mills, condensed distillers with solubles production reached 95,299 tons, up from 86,074 tons in April and 80,971 tons in May 2020. Corn oil production reached 167,905 tons, up from 149,431 tons the previous month and 105,231 tons in May of the previous year. Distillers dried grains production increased to 380,620 tons, up from 342,870 tons in April and 205,750 tons in May 2020. Distillers dried grains with solubles production reached 1.94 million tons, up from 1.77 million tons the previous month and 1.24 million tons in May 2020. Wet distillers grains production reached 1.08 million tons, up slightly from the previous month and up significantly from 739,106 tons in May 2020. Modified distillers wet grains production was at 320,803 tons, down from 373,090 tons in April, but up from 242,365 tons the same month of last year.

At wet mills, corn germ meal production reached 64,607 tons, up from 63,568 tons in April and 64,200 tons in May 2020. Corn gluten feed production reached 299,123 tons, up from 291,558 tons the previous month and 291,064 tons in May of last year. Corn gluten meal production reached 114,135 tons, up from 113,905 tons in April and 91,013 tons in May 2020. Wet corn gluten feed production was at 208,575 tons, up from 202,491 tons in April, but down from 211,741 tons in May 2020.

At dry and wet mills, carbon dioxide captured reached 229,471 tons, up from 225,169 tons in April and 149,453 tons in May 2020.