U.S. feed grain production in 2011/12 is forecast at 328.1 million metric tons, down 10.5 million from last month’s forecast and slightly below the 2010/11 estimate of 330.0 million. Sharply reduced corn yield and production this month swamp a small sorghum production increase. Forecast beginning stocks are down 0.5 million tons from last month and down 21.1 million from last year. Feed grain supplies in 2011/12 are forecast at 357.3 million tons, down 11.1 million from last month primarily due to lower carryin and the decreased yield forecast for corn. Feed grain supplies are down 23.3 million tons from last year’s estimate.

Projected feed grain use for 2011/12 dropped 10.2 million tons this month to 337.6 million as sustained high prices are expected to constrain demand. Total use is forecast down 16 million metric tons from the 2010/11 projection. Feed and residual drops 5.1 million tons from last month as high grains prices constrain livestock profitability and the smaller forecast corn crop reduces residual disappearance. Feed and residual is projected at 123.2 million tons for 2011/12, compared with the 2010/11 projection of 133.0 million. Projections for food, seed, and industrial (FSI) uses and exports each slipped 2.5 million tons from last month.

Lower projected corn use for ethanol reduces feed grain FSI use. For 2010/11, feed grain FSI is raised 254,000 tons this month due to increased corn use for high-fructose corn syrup and glucose and dextrose. Exports are also raised by the same amount to 50.6 million this month, reflecting August corn shipments. This lowers projected ending stocks by 500,000 tons to 27.0 million.

Feed Use
When converted to a September-August marketing year, feed and residual use for the four feed grains plus wheat in 2011/12 is projected to total 128.5 million tons, down 5.7 million from last month and down 7 percent from the 2010/11 forecast of 138.2 million. Corn is estimated to account for 94 percent of the feed and residual use in 2011/12, up from an estimated 92 percent in 2010/11.

The projected index of grain-consuming animal units (GCAU) for 2011/12 is 94.5 million units, slightly higher than the 2010/11 estimate of 92.9 million. The grain used per GCAU in 2011/12 is expected to be 1.36 tons, down from an estimated 1.49 tons in 2010/11. Sustained high grain prices and lower residual disappearance are expected to cause the reduction in grain disappearance per GCAU. In the index components, GCAUs are decreased slightly for dairy, hogs, layers, and broilers from last month.

USDA’s Quarterly Hogs and Pigs report will be released on September 24th and will provide an indication of sow farrowing intentions into early 2011. Higher feed prices are expected to slow pork production gains and reduce feed use.