USDA reduced again its estimate for corn production this year as the average yield per acre was cut to 146.7 bushels per acre, 1.4 bushels less than last month’s estimate and the lowest corn yield since 2003-04, according to the “World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates” report issued yesterday by the World Agricultural Outlook Board. Harvested corn acreage was left unchanged at 83.9 million acres for 2011.

USDA’s revised corn crop at 12.310 billion bushels is 123 million bushels under last month’s estimate and 1.1 percent less than the 12.447 billion bushels in 2010.  Corn for feed usage during 2011-12 was lowered 100 million bushels to 4.600 billion bushels compared with 4.792 billion bushels during 2010-11.  Corn for ethanol for 2011-12 was left unchanged at 5.000 billion bushels, only slightly less than the 5.021 billion bushels used for ethanol during 2010-11.

Ending corn stocks for 2011-12 were trimmed 23 million bushels to 843 million bushels compared with 1.128 billion bushels for 2010-11 and 1.708 billion bushels for 2009-10.  The stocks to total corn usage for 2011-12 would be 6.7 percent, compared with 8.6 percent for 2010-11 and 13.1 percent for 2009-10.  Although ending stocks were reduced, the board left unchanged its average farm price for corn for 2011-12 at $6.20-$7.20 per bushel.  This price range compares with $5.18 for 2010-11 and $3.55 for 2009-10.

For soybeans, yields were trimmed 0.2 bushels per acre to 41.3 bushels per acre for 2011 and with acreage unchanged at 73.7 million acres, the soybean harvest is now estimated at 3.046 billion bushels.  Last year’s soybean crop was 3.329 billion bushels, 9.3 percent higher than this year.  Soybean exports were lowered which allowed ending stocks for 2011-12 to increase 30 million bushels from last month’s estimate to 195 million bushels.  This level would represent 6.3 percent of total soybean usage for 2011-12.  USDA sees weaker demand for soybeans with the average farm price being lowered to $11.60-$13.60 per bushel, compared with $12.15-$14.15 last month and $11.30 per bushel for 2010-11.