Ending corn stocks for 2011-12 are projected to be 866 million bushels and would be the second lowest stocks-to-use ratio on record, according to USDA’s “World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates” report this week from the World Agricultural Outlook Board. The 866 million bushels would represent 6.8 percent of the total usage of corn (12.710 billion bushels) during 2011-12 compared with the previous lowest ending stocks-to-use ratio of 4.8 percent in 1995-96.

In last month’s report, USDA had ending stocks of corn for 2011-12 at 672 million bushels.  In this month’s report, the board left corn yields unchanged from last month’s estimate of 148.1 bushels per acre, the lowest since 2005.  Harvested corn acreage for 2011-12 was reduced by 500,000 acres to 83.9 million acres.  As a result, corn production is now expected to be 12.433 billion bushels, 64 million bushels less than last month’s estimate and essentially unchanged from the 12.447 billion bushels of corn harvested in 2010-11.  Corn for “ethanol & by-products” was estimated at 5.000 billion bushels for 2011-12, unchanged from last month’s estimate and 0.4 percent less than the 5.020 billion bushels used in 2010-11.

USDA projected 160 million bushels of soybeans in ending stocks for 2011-12, down from 165 million projected last month and last year’s ending stocks of 215 million.  According to AgWeb.com, the analysts they surveyed suggest there will be strong acreage competition next spring between corn and soybeans.

In a related note, the Climate Prediction Center, part of the National Weather Service, sees an increased probability of above-median precipitation next spring from the Ohio Valley to the Great Lakes.  The possibility of a weather repeat of 2011 into next year, for both the Midwest and Southwest, is a real possibility, the center said.