The balance sheet for feed grains is expected to remain tight in 2011/12 despite projected record-large production. Prices received by farmers are expected to hit record highs for the second consecutive year as low beginning stocks and near-record demand keep projected ending stocks low by historical standards. Corn prices are expected to average between $5.50 and $6.50 a bushel. Based on producer intentions reported in the March 31 Prospective Plantings, combined planted area for the four feed grains is expected up 4 million acres in 2011/12. U.S. feed grain production for 2011/12 is projected at 356 million metric tons, up from 330 million in 2010/11. Total feed grain use is expected to decline marginally in 2011/12. An expected small increase in feed grains used for ethanol is more than offset by expected declines in feed use and U.S. exports. Recordhigh corn prices and plentiful supplies of distillers’ grains are expected to encourage feeders to reduce feed grain use. Declining world corn trade and increased exports from Argentina, Russia, and Ukraine will likely temper U.S. exports. Global coarse grain production in 2011/12 is projected slightly higher than use, allowing a small increase in world stocks.

Tight markets and record prices to continue in 2011/12