U.S. farmers are on track this year to produce a record corn crop, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates released May 10.

While the report projects average yields will not break previous records, strong yields coupled with record plantings will help farmers produce a record total corn supply of 14.9 billion bushels, three billion bushels more than last year.

“The unprecedented abundance of corn projected by USDA shows the faith that credible, respected agricultural experts place in our nation’s corn farmers and in the agribusinesses which support them,” said National Corn Growers Association President Pam Johnson.

“As farmers, we take great pride in our work and feel these projections recognize our efforts. At the same time, our optimism is tinged with caution as we have all seen conditions change quickly and a crop shift course in a few short weeks.

“We remain diligent in our work, striving to produce that abundance for a world with constantly increasing food, feed and fuel needs.”

Total production, projected at 14.1 billion bushels, would mean an increase of 3.4 billion bushels over last year’s production, which suffered under extreme drought and heat that reduced yields to their lowest level since 1995.

The projected yield of 158 bushels per acre, if achieved, would be the third highest on record. The projection reflects the planting delays cool, wet conditions across much of the Corn Belt caused this spring.

U.S. corn use projections also rose by 16 percent from the previous year, with higher projected demand from feed and residual disappearance, ethanol, sweeteners and starch.

Projections rose showing feed and residual use higher than in the previous year by 925 million bushels as the use of corn for feeding is expected to rise as corn prices fall.

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Likewise, demand from the ethanol sector is expected to increase by 250 million bushels from the previous year, as lower corn prices and high prices for Renewable Identification Numbers support profitability for ethanol producers.

The export market is projected to recover somewhat also given the larger supply. The report indicates the U.S. will export 550 million bushels more corn than last year.

U.S. corn ending stocks are projected at 2 billion bushels, up 1.2 billion from 2012/13.

The season-average farm price, projected to be $4.30 to $5.10 per bushel, is down sharply from the record $6.70 to $7.10 the prior year.

For the full report, click here.

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