The Grain Stocks report, issued by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) on March 30, 2012, shows relatively tight stocks for each of the feed grains. Corn stocks on March 1 were set at 6 billion bushels, down 8 percent from the previous year. Stocks were below most trade estimates, but close to USDA expectations.

Feed and residual use in the second half of the marketing year (March-August), projected to be 1.2 billion bushels, is expected to represent 26.3 percent of the 4.6 billion bushel marketing year total. In April 2011, USDA projected second-half feed and residual disappearance for 2010/11 at 29.5 percent of the marketing year total and below trade expectations at that time. Once September 1 stocks and final use for other categories were known, second-half 2010/11 feed and residual fell to 24.3 percent of the marketing year total, the lowest share since at least 1975. The two key factors expected to limit corn feed and residual use in the second half of 2011/12 are increased use of wheat in feed rations and, with early planting, the increased use of new-crop corn in August 2012.

In absolute terms, feed and residual use in the second half of the 2011/12 marketing year is expected to be the third lowest since 1975, behind last year and the drought year of 1983. It is also forecast below the 1.6 billion bushels estimated for 1995/96. Since 1995/96, corn used for ethanol is up more than twelvefold, adding substantially to available supplies of feed byproducts.

Grain Stocks report confirms tight carryout