The feed outlook has brightened considerably from a year ago, helping contribute to the recent rise in calf and feeder-cattle value. The January Feed Outlook report from USDA estimates 2013 corn and hay production somewhat lower than previous forecasts, but well above last-year’s totals.
As reported in last week’s Crop Production Annual Summary, USDA increased its estimate of corn harvested acreage but reduced its average yield estimate by 1.6 bushels per acre, resulting in a final production estimate of 13.9 billion bushels.
The estimate for corn food, seed, and industrial use is unchanged for the 2013-2014 marketing year remains the same as last month, with a 50-million-bushel increase in forecast corn for fuel ethanol use offset by a 10-million-bushel decline in corn use for high-fructose corn syrup, a 10-million-bushel reduction in corn use for glucose and dextrose, and a 30-million-bushel reduction in corn use for starch.
The report raises the estimate for corn feed and residual use for the 2013-2014 crop by 100 million and leaves the estimate for corn exports the same as last month, leaving total use 100 million bushels higher than last month’s projection. Corn ending stocks for the 2013-2014 crop are projected at 1,631 million bushels, 161 million below last month’s projection but nearly double last year’s carryout of 821 million bushels.
The midpoint of the projected range for corn prices received by producers is unchanged at $4.40 per bushel, $2.49 lower than last season’s record average of $6.89 per bushel.
All hay production for 2013 is estimated at 135.9 million tons, a 3-percent decline relative to the last estimate on August 1, but a 13-percent increase from the 2012 total. At 57.6 million tons, alfalfa production is down 4 percent from the August 1 forecast and up 11 percent from 2012. Other hay production totaled 78.4 million tons, down 2 percent from the August forecast and up 16 percent from the previous year.
While hay production is well above last year, stocks remain well below the 10-year average and prices remain high. The report notes that hay stocks on farms totaled 89.3 million tons on December 1, up from 76.5 million for the same date in 2012, but nearly 12 million tons below the 10-year average.
The December all-hay price at $168 per ton is $47 higher than the 10-year average of $121 per ton. The December alfalfa price, at $187 per ton, is down $30 from last year but $55 above the 10-year average price of $132 per ton.
View the full Feed Outlook report from USDA.