The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has just released its updated 2013 corn crop report and is estimating the 2013 corn harvest will achieve a new record of 13.99 billion bushels, 7 percent larger than the previous record and a 30 percent larger than last year’s drought-shortened crop. USDA expects yield to average 160.4 bushels per acre, the second-highest yield on record. The report also showed a 2 percent decrease in planted acreage compared to last year. However, the Genscape LandViewer yield forecast remains on the lower end of analysts’ predictions at 13.57 billion bushels.
Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis said of the updated corn harvest forecasts, “It is clear from this report that the food versus fuel debate over the U.S. renewable fuel policy can be put to bed. Our farmers have once again proven we can produce abundant quantities of high quality food, feed, fiber and renewable fuel.”
Other highlights from today’s USDA report:
- Corn ending stocks are projected to hit 1.89 billion bushels, the highest since 2005.
- Corn prices are projected at $4.10-4.90 per bushel, the lowest in three years.
- 4.9 billion bushels are slated to be used to make ethanol and animal feed co-products. Roughly two-thirds (3.28 bbu.) of the corn destined for ethanol plants will be converted to fuel ethanol, while the remaining one-third (1.62 bbu.) will be processed into high-protein, high-energy animal feed. On a net basis, just 22% of the record corn supply in 2013/14 will be used for ethanol production.
- Livestock feed is again projected to be the top use of corn, with 5.2 billion bushels of consumption. When feed co-products from ethanol are considered, livestock will consume the equivalent of 6.8 bbu., or 46% of the corn supply.
- World grain ending stocks are projected to hit the second-highest level in the last 12 years.
- World grain production is projected at a record 2.43 billion metric tons and supply is expected to rise to 2.88 billion metric tons. This means U.S. ethanol production is expected to use just 2.95% of the world grain supply on a net basis—the lowest in four years.
“This year’s corn crop is a tremendous accomplishment and we applaud America’s farmers for their hard work and resilience,” said Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA). “It is truly remarkable that the second-best yield in history was achieved despite an extremely late, wet planting season and the so-called ‘flash drought’ late in the summer. This year’s yield and record crop highlight the astonishing innovation and technological change occurring in agriculture. Producing a crop this size using 1980-era technology and average yield would have required 76% more harvested acres.”
Dinneen added, “This historic crop underscores the urgency of maintaining demand. Now, more than ever, the Renewable Fuel Standard must stand as is. No cuts, no reductions. This country will be swimming in excess corn if the RFS requirements are cut.”