"Based on weekly estimates of ethanol production and the projected rate of use for other food and industrial products, total processing use of corn during the quarter was likely near 1.62 billion bushels," he added.

For the year, the USDA projects feed and residual use of corn at 5.15 billion bushels. USDA has estimated use during the first half of the year at 3.614 million bushels. If the projection for the year is correct, 1.536 billion bushels will be consumed in the last half of the year.

"Fourth-quarter feed and residual use will be influenced by the level of wheat feeding, which is expected to be large due to the much larger soft red winter wheat crop and the current low price of wheat relative to corn," he said.

Based on the number of livestock being fed, use during the third quarter should have been relatively large. Third-quarter use is estimated at 950 million bushels, equal to that of two years ago.

Total consumption during the quarter is estimated at 3.074 billion bushels, which points to June 1 stocks of 3.455 billion bushels. Stocks between 3.4 and 3.5 billion bushels appear to be a reasonable expectation.

"For soybeans, the magnitude of the domestic crush and exports during the March-May quarter can be fairly closely predicted based on estimates from the USDA, Census Bureau, and National Oilseed Processor Association," Good said.

The domestic crush during the quarter was likely near 394 million bushels, whereas exports were near 230 million bushels. The crush will be known with the release of the Census Bureau crush report on June 23. Seed, feed, and residual use during the quarter is highly variable from year to year.

"Estimated use during the first half of the current year was unusually large, suggesting that third-quarter use could be less than normal. If use during the third quarter was near 28 million bushels, June 1 stocks should have been near 600 million bushels," he said.

According to Good, planted and harvested acreage forecasts for both corn and soybeans are more difficult to anticipate than is typically the case.

Late planting in the eastern Corn Belt and northern Plains along with flooding in the Ohio, Mississippi and Missouri River Valley is thought to have reduced total cropland acres planted relative to intentions reported in the USDA's March Prospective Plantings report. Intentions were for 92.2 million acres of corn and 76.6 million acres of soybeans.

"The mix of acreage is still difficult to anticipate," he said. "Most believe corn acreage is less than intended, but ideas have shifted from a loss of 3 to 4 million acres to a loss of less than 2 million acres. Corn acreage may exceed intentions in some western areas," he said.

Last year's experience with the June 30 reports, along with the high degree of uncertainty about planted and harvested acreage, highlights the importance of this year's reports, he noted.