The U.S. Department of Agriculture reduced its projection of corn acres this year, based on the impact of weather and flooding during the spring. Despite this, USDA is still expecting a record crop of 13.2 billion bushels, the National Corn Growers Association noted.
"As corn growers, we continue to face the same question: 'Will there be enough corn?' Reports this early in the season do not always take into account the stronger impact good summer weather has on a corn crop than the planting completion date," said NCGA President Bart Schott, a North Dakota corn grower. "We know that there are many things farmers can do in the months ahead to help ensure the record crop the USDA is projecting and that there is enough corn for all needs.
"American farmers have a history of rising to meet challenges. We also have a history of overproducing and I'm concerned it won't be long until we face overproduction and prices below the cost of production. This is what others in the ag sector are now facing."
The USDA in its report reduced its projection of planted corn acres by 1.5 million, to 90.7 million acres, and lowered the harvested acreage projection by 1.9 million acres, to 83.2 million. This reflects early information about May flooding in the lower Ohio and Mississippi River valleys and June flooding along the Missouri River valley. The only adjustment on the demand side was a reduction of corn for feed and residual, by 100 million bushels. Ending stocks for the 2011 crop were reduced from 900 million to 695 million bushels, leading to a 50-cent increase in the projected average farm price for corn.
"We are still a long way from September 2012, when the ending stocks number becomes a reality and officially final," Schott noted. "This is often a figure that changes greatly through the course of the season. The 2009 crop saw an increase of more than 500 million bushels in its ending stocks estimate between June 2009 and June 2010. NCGA has been actively engaged in helping the livestock industry in expanding marketing opportunities here and abroad, and will continue to do so, Schott added.
"Given the enormous challenges facing our key customers, NCGA and affiliated state organizations will re-double our efforts to help expand international demand for meat," he said. "NCGA renews its call on the Administration and Congress to complete their work on three pending free trade agreements that will expand market opportunities for beef, pork and poultry products. State corn checkoff organizations will also continue their collective million-dollar-plus support of U.S. meat export organizations and their efforts to build additional markets."