This year’s corn crop is looking more and more like last year’s. Excess spring moisture in key growing areas, late planting, slow growth due to cool conditions – sound familiar?

Similar conditions have slowed crop progress across much of the Corn Belt, leaving fields, as of June 12, at about the same stage as this time last year.

The lag in crop progress has prompted the USDA to reduce yield projections, corn production and corn use for the 2009/2010 crop in its June 12 Feed Outlook report. The report projects similar reductions for other feed grains.

Based on a projected average yield of 153.4 bushels per acre, the report projects U.S. 2009/2010 corn production at 11.9 billion bushels, down 155 million bushels from the prior report a month ago. That total would be a small reduction from last year, when farmers harvested 12.1 billion bushels of corn, but keep in mind that last year’s crop was the second-largest on record.

The agency also projects ending stocks for this year a bit lower at 1.1 billion bushels, a reduction of 55 million bushels from the last report.

For the four feed grains covered in the report – corn, sorghum, barley and oats – USDA projects U.S. production at 319 million metric tons, down from 323 million last month.

The 2009/2010 farm price for corn is projected at $3.90 to $4.70 per bushel, up 20 cents

From last month on both ends of the range. The projected range for the old crop remains unchanged at $4.10 to $4.30 per bushel. If farmers have marketed their old-crop corn at the same rate as the average of the last 5 years, then 19 percent of the 2008/2009 marketing-year corn remains to be sold through August.

Sorghum prices tend to follow corn, and the report projects sorghum prices for the new crop to range from $3.30 to $4.00 per bushel, up 15 cents on both ends from last month.

As of mid-morning on June 12, the markets seemed to shrug off the lower supply projections, with near-term and deferred corn futures all down slightly.

Find further details on projected grain production, use and trade in the June 12 Feed Outlook report.