On a September-August marketing year basis for 2011/12, U.S. feed and residual use for the four feed grains plus wheat is projected to total 128.3 million tons, down 1.5 million from the revised total of 129.8 million tons in 2010/11. Corn is estimated to account for 93 percent of feed and residual use in 2011/12, down from 94 percent in 2010/11.

The projected index of grain-consuming animal units (GCAU) in 2011/12 is 94.2 million units, up from 92.9 million in 2010/11. Feed and residual per GCAU in 2011/12 is estimated at 1.36 tons, down from 1.40 in 2010/11. In the index components, GCAUs are increased for beef, dairy, pork, and poultry.

USDA’s September 19th Milk Production report indicated milk production in the 23 major producing States during August totaled 15.3 billion pounds, up 2.2 percent from August 2010. Production per cow averaged 1,810 pounds for August, 18 pounds above last year. However, the number of milk cows on farms increased by 102,000 head from August 2009 to 8.47 million. The milk production forecast for 2011 is raised as the dairy herd has been expanding at a more rapid rate and milk per cow during the summer increased more rapidly than expected. However, the forecast for 2012 is reduced as forecast lower milk prices and weakening milk-feed ratios increase the pace of later-year declines in cow numbers.

U.S. hog breeding inventory in the third quarter of 2011 was at 5.81 million head, up 1 percent from last year and up slightly from the previous quarter according to USDA’s September 28th Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report. Market hogs inventory, at 66.6 million head, was up 1 percent from last year. As the result of lower market inventory, lower slaughter, and slower growth in slaughter weights, the 2011 pork production forecast is reduced. Intended farrowings from December 2011 to February 2012, at 2.87 million sows, are down slightly from the same period a year earlier but up slightly from December 2009-February 2010  based on the report.

Pork production for 2012 is raised from last month as increased pigs per litter support a larger pig crop and increased supplies of slaughter hogs into 2012 despite steady numbers of sows farrowing.

USDA’s Broiler Hatchery report on October 7 indicated that broiler-type egg sets and chicks placed have been decreasing. Cumulative placements of broiler flock are down 7 percent from the same period a year earlier. Broiler production is reduced aslower egg sets point to a sharp reduction in later-year bird slaughter. However, continued relatively heavy bird weights result in an increase in expected third-quarter production. Table egg production is increased but is partly offset by lower expected broiler hatching egg production.

Egg-type chicks hatched and pullet chicks for future hatchery supply have been increasing based on USDA’s September 22 Chickens and Eggs report. Table egg production is increased.

USDA’s September 15 Turkey Hatchery report indicated that during August 2011, turkey poults hatched were up 4 percent from the year earlier, but net poults placed were 100,000 below August 2010. The 2011 turkey production projection is 15 million pounds higher than last month’s, but the turkey meat forecast for 2012 is unchanged from last month as lower feed prices stabilize turkey production.

USDA’s September 23 Cattle on Feed report indicated that placements and marketings of feed cattle during August both increased 5 percent above a year earlier. The increase in beef production is largely due to higher expected cow slaughter as drought conditions in much of the Southern Plains and high hay prices will likely keep slaughter high.