U.S. corn farmers are on track to a record corn crop for the second consecutive year, according to the USDA projections released May 9. Acreage will be down but yields pegged to increase, leading to a record 13.9 billion bushels.

The expected 2014 production is slightly more than in 2013, with national average yields forecast to be 6.5 bushels per acre higher than 2013 at 165.3 bushels per acre.

“America’s corn farmers continuously strive to improve and, in 2014, they certainly will make their achievements evident should these projections be realized,” said National Corn Growers Association Chairwoman Pam Johnson. “As farmers, we take great pride in our work and feel that the projections recognize our efforts. Yet, our optimism is tinged 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.”

The projected yield of 165.3 bushels per acre, if achieved, would be the new record. If achieved, the record yield would offset 3.7 million acre year-to-year decrease in acreage planted to corn.

U.S. corn use projections are forecast to be two percent lower than the previous year, with higher projected demand from the export and feed and residual markets expected 200 and 50 million bushels below last year’s levels respectively. Feed and residual demand forecasts were influenced by lower animal numbers. Lower import demand and larger-than-expected foreign supplies influenced projected export demand. Ethanol demand is expected to remain at the same levels seen the prior year.

U.S. corn ending stocks are projected at 1.7 billion bushels, up 580 million from 2013/14. The season-average farm price, projected to be $3.85 to $4.55 per bushel, down from $4.50 to $4.80 the prior year.